Keys to Friendship


July 30th is International Friendship Day and a good time to help our students work on the skills needed to make and maintain friendship. Especially with the school’s first days right around the corner, learning the skills needed to create lasting friendships is an adult living skills that will prove invaluable to students with special needs.


Learning to Make Friends


While skills needed to make friends may not come naturally to students with special needs, that doesn’t mean that those skills can’t be learned and used. In this lesson, students learn the second key of becoming likeable when they explore what kinds of questions to ask a potential friend.


By learning to ask open-ended questions about the other person (instead of engaging in a monolog about themselves) students learn to explore who a potential friend is and let them talk about themselves. Research shows that when people talk about themselves, they feel good and that good feeling gets transferred back to the person asking the questions—thus making them more “likeable.”


How to Use This Lesson


  1. Read together. Page 21 explains the importance of the 5W-H questions. Help students see that these questions cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” and will naturally lead to conversation.

  2. Check for comprehension. Provide the quiz on Page 22 to assure comprehension of the concept.

  3. Explore options. As a class, or in small groups, have students analyze the sample questions given. Are they appropriate for this class? Do they make you think of a different (maybe better) question?

  4. Try it out. The activity on Page 24 allows students to practice this skill several times with different students in class. Let students create a bank of questions they might ask fellow-students before they try them out with their classmates. Provide a few minutes for each encounter then ring a bell or flash the lights to tell students to switch partners.

  5. Review results. After students have had a chance to try out this skill, allow them to come back together as a group to review the results. Did the 5W-H questions make it easier to engage? What was still hard? Does anyone have ideas how to overcome the difficulties that were encountered?


For More Information


Like all lessons in the Daily Living Skills series, this lesson is written on a 3rd/4th grade level but provides a tone that is respectful of the sensibilities of teens and young adults. Lessons in the series meet federal guidelines for transition skills, Indicator 13 goals, and SCANS recommendations.


If you found this lesson useful, you may want to continue lessons in Becoming Likeable with the workbook found here.


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