Topics that are okay with family may not be appropriate to share with a stranger, and conversations that are appropriate with friends on the schoolyard may not be meant for the holiday dinner table at Grandma’s. While teaching kids to initiate and communicate with others is crucial to making friends and thriving socially, students also need to learn what topics of conversation are appropriate with different types of people.
Understanding the pragmatics of social communication is an essential life skill. We’ve created this set of lessons that can guide students through the different phases of appropriate and safe conversations as they meet and make friends, both in real life and digitally.
Meet the GIRLS!: Lexi (9) and Lauryn (14) are sisters and are each other's biggest cheerleaders. Lexi is a strong gymnast and Lauryn is right there encouraging her and helping her every step of the way. Lauryn is a musician and shares her talent in her community. Lexi supports her sister’s efforts. Sometimes our greatest power is empowering others!
Meet the GIRL!: Sasha is 17 years old and had a difficult time in school due to being bullied. She found her outlet through art. She painted her feelings and then decided to share her art with others. She leads art classes at her local boys and girls club with an emphasis on bullying awareness and education. She wants to make sure others feel empowered to speak up for themselves and take action. She leads by example.
Learn to help students develop key skills for successful relationships: communication, cooperation, and conflict resolution. Educators can help students develop these skills by working together in groups and discussing roles. Parents can support their children by spending time with them and encouraging communication.
Sam shows off his family’s backyard garden, where tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and more, grow. He looks forward to getting gardening tips from First Lady Michelle Obama, who describes the White House garden as a way to spread the ideas of eating well, growing your own food, and making friends with vegetables. Sam encourages his family members to eat brown rice instead of white rice and a salad instead of pizza.
Learn about Down Syndrome from Mary Ann Schluier, a habilitator at CP Rochester. Next, hear from Patrick Hurley, an individual with Down Syndrome, and his family as they talk about their day to day lives, his activities, and skills to participate in numerous activities in the community.
A University of Maryland study reports a 50-percent drop in the number of 9 to 12-year-olds who spent time in outdoor activities. Doctors know humans need to spend time in the outdoors to stay healthy. If you get outside and do things, you feel better.