Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Friendship Lesson on Making Small Talk

Have you ever had that awkward moment where you just don't know anyone in the room and would rather do anything else than talk to people you don't know?  Many times we have "junk food" thoughts that run through our mind such as "maybe they will not like me" or " maybe they will think I am not as good as them."  But learning how to turn those thoughts around and make those connections as a child will help us grow as adults.
 One of my Friendship Group lessons focuses on "Speaking Up and Making Small Talk."  This lesson is taken from Small Group Counseling for Children by Diane S. Senn. 


I used a Smart Board for the group discussion.  We started by talking about times we may not know anyone. What do you do?  I had students identify "junk food" thoughts vs "healthy" thoughts.  Students had to "✔" the healthy statements and "X" the junk statements, then explain why those are good or bad for you to think.  

We then talked about making "small talk." What is small talk? What can you say? How do you start?  Try looking for something in common.  Maybe they are wearing a shirt with a character you like.  Or maybe they are talking about a video game that you play.

We then practiced by making Virtual Character Comic Strips.  Students paired up and were given a prompt to work on cooperatively.  They were to use their situation to come up with "small talk".  Once they had their "small talk" written  on their speech bubbles worksheet, we typed it into the speech bubbles on the Smart Board.  To present their situation and how they conquered that awkward moment, students would stand on either side of the Smart Board creating silhouettes with speech bubbles.  

Here is a prompt I gave a pair of students:  Imagine you have been invited to a birthday party and when you get there, you do not know anyone.  Your job is to make some "small talk."

Here is a different prompt:  You have a new neighbor.  How can you meet them? 

Students had a great time making their virtual comics!


  1. Hi Michelle,

    I just came across your blog from Pinterest! I love this idea that you came up with! I am just starting a social skills group and this would be a perfect activity for one of our sessions! Thanks for sharing!!!

    AnnMArie Birster

  2. You're welcome! I love hearing that, let me know how it goes:)

  3. What a great idea. I love how you use the smartboard shadows with the talk bubbles and your pictures turned out really good. That would be fun to actually show the students they pictures of them "talking". Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog! :)

  4. Allison,
    I just started blogging and following other blogs recently. It's great to share ideas. Plus knowing that others are doing the same types of groups and activities is reassuring that we are all working towards having successful students. Michelle