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Social Skills Lesson Plan -- Initiating Interaction With Peers

Brainstorming, Scripting and Rehearsal for Social Success


Objective: Students will approach another student in a role playing situation and engage the other child to play.

Anticipatory Set: A picture of a child alone, a picture of children on the playground. (I use Google Images. Because of copyright restrictions, you need to find your own.)


  • Pictures for anticipatory set.
  • Chart paper to collaborate on the script.
  • Scarves, hats or mittens to role play “outside.”
  • Video Camera (optional. You may edit and put on a CD so children can watch it on the computer afterwards. Called “Video Self-Modeling,” It can be a powerful tool.


Anticipatory Set

  • Why do you think this boy feels sad? (Lonely? Accept all answers.)
  • Why would he feel sad if he saw this? (He wants to play.)
  • How can he change this? (He can ask to play.)

Write a Script: Ask students how you get to play with other student. Hopefully you are able to generate the answer: Ask them. Then you need to generate the script and write it on the chart paper. Make suggestions if they are unable to do it. Be sure to differentiate between classmates and people they don't know. This will especially true if your students are in a partial or full time inclusion program.

Suggested Script: Make I the initiating student and R the responding student. Use whatever works with your students. Mine are not good at initiating conversation, so I would use pictures for the script.

  • I: Hi, I'm (student's name.) What's your name? R:I'm (student,)
  • I: What are you playing? R: We're playing tag.
  • I: Can I play, too? R: I suppose. You're it!
  • I: Thanks. You better run.

Rehearse: Give all your children a turn to do each role. If you have a video camera, video tape each interaction and watch them all.

Debriefing: Ask for positive comments only for each performance. Then make a list of suggestions: i.e. Look them in the eye. Smile, etc.

Three More Lessons on Social Skills

Use the pattern above for the following skills:

  • Giving and Receiving Compliments.
  • Taking turns.
  • Asking someone to share a desired item. Add brainstorming for how to share: taking turns, setting time for each person to use the desired item, using the desired item together.

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