K-5: Getting Along With Others
by Scott Ertl, Learn NC
This lesson introduces the key concepts of cooperation, peer relations, interpersonal skills, getting along with others, and team-building.
A lesson plan for Grades K–5 Guidance
- review and learn additional benefits of getting along with others.
- review and learn additional ways to get along with others.
- identify their own behaviors that make it easier and harder to get along with others.
- develop an action plan for improving current behaviors to help them get along with others.
Teacher planning: 45 minutes
pencil and paper
attachments (saved in Microsoft Word format and also in rtf format)
It could be helpful for students to explore how different character traits relate to either getting along with others or getting in trouble with others.
Students can explore how the following character traits improve peer relations: responsibility, respect, courage, fairness, citizenship, honesty, kindness, and perseverance.
Have students explore negative consequences when students do not get along with each other.
Examples may include: Feel rejected, feel unhappy, Excluded from activities, Get in trouble, Blamed for accidents, Unliked by peers, Parents are ashamed, Unpopular, and Lose friends easily.
1. Instruct students to explore different benefits for getting along with others. Have them write down 1-2 positive consequences for getting along with others. Then brainstorm the class’ responses by listing them on the board. Have students add class ideas that are generated to their worksheet. (See attachment for Lesson 1) (Include benefits like: Have more friends, Not left out of games, Win more team games, Parents are proud, Fewer fights, Less arguments, Others share more, Don’t get as hurt, Makes the world a better place to live, Get special privileges, and Feel happier.)
2. Have students consider different behaviors that help us get along with others. State all behaviors positively. For example, instead of recording “Don’t lie,” rephrase as “Tell the truth” or “Be honest.” Each student should write down 2-3 behaviors individually before having the class share responses. (See attachment for Lesson 1). When compiling class responses on the board, have students include all behaviors on their individual worksheets. (Positive behaviors can include: Share with others, Help others, Tell the truth, Invite others to play, Compliment others, Respect others, Be polite, Use my manners, Smile, Follow rules, Be patient, Forgive others, and Admit mistakes.)
3. After students have recognized many of the benefits of getting along with others and specific ways to do so, they are ready to evaluate their own behaviors. Using different behavioral opposites, have students place an “X” to best describe their behavior along the continuum. You can use a Likert scale or simple line between behaviors. (See attachment for Lesson 2) (Behavior opposites can include: Lies/Tells the Truth, Selfish/Sharing, Positive/Negative Attitude, Patient/Impatient, Blames Others/Admits Mistakes, Inconsistent/Dependable, and Puts Others Down/Stands Up For Others.)
4. After students evaluate their current behaviors, have them identify the three behaviors that most impede their getting along with others (on the worksheet, they are the “X’s” that are on the left).
5. Then, have students determine specific ways to engage in the opposite behaviors more often. For example, a student with the behavior “Lies” might decide to “Tell the truth” more on the bus and at lunch. Another example could include how a student who is “Selfish” could decide that he/she could “Share” more compliments, praise, and belongings with classmates.
6. In conclusion, distribute index cards for students to record the three targeted behaviors for them to concentrate on improving. Ask where the index cards can be placed to be most helpful to use as a daily reminder. Some students will choose to have them taped on their desk, others will want it on their mirror at home, while others will want it taped to their notebook, locker, planner, or bookbag.
Lesson goals can easily be evaluated by looking at each student’s worksheet and seeing how much information has been completed.
Students should list 8-12 Benefits of Getting Along With Others and 12-18 Ways to Get Along With Others.
On the “Getting Along With Others” handout (attached), students should identify the 3 behaviors they need to improve the most and write how they plan to change those behaviors.
Follow-up lessons can include a “Get Along Gang” group for smaller numbers of students to explore behaviors that would assist in peer relations. Daily and weekly self-reports can monitor success of targeted behaviors.
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