How To Make New Friends
- Share about personal experiences about making new friends
- Watch a short video that introduces five simple steps for building new friendships, and practice the steps with a partner classmate
Research shows that friendships are critical to children’s healthy development, as they provide opportunities to learn skills related to communication, conflict resolution, and other social interactions, foster a sense of belonging, and decrease stress. Therefore, it’s essential to cultivate friendship-building competencies early in childhood. As students participate in this activity, they will develop skills around mindfulness, kindness, and inclusivity as they practice strategies for making new friends.
To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.
- Engage students in a conversation about making new friends. You might ask:
• What does it mean to be a friend to someone? What makes someone a good friend?
• Think of a friend that you have - how did you meet them? Why did you become friends? What helped your friendship grow?
• How do you feel when you meet someone new? Do you feel happy, excited, or a little nervous?
• How can we show someone that we want to be their friend? (e.g., by asking questions about their interests and listening carefully to them)
- Then, watch the video below with your class, which introduces five steps for making new friends. The video also includes discussion prompts that give students the opportunity to practice the steps with a partner sitting near them.
- After watching the video, invite students to share their reflections by asking the questions below:
• Was it easy or hard to practice these steps with your partner? What was your favorite part?
• How did you and your partner listen carefully and respond kindly to each other? How did this make you feel?
• Which step do you think is the most important for making new friends? Why?
• What are some other tips that you would add to this video?
• How can you use these steps in different situations, like when you’re at school or in your neighborhood?
If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...
Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call.
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.
If students in either class don’t have individual devices...
Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.