Starting a conversation

Starting a conversation with someone they don’t know can be daunting for students. By practising conversational skills and techniques, students will be able to approach these conversations with confidence and make connections outside of their immediate friendship circle.

Year Level



5 minutes


  • In class activity

SEL Competencies

  • Self-awareness
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship skills

Learning Intention

Students learn conversational skills to improve their interaction with people outside of their friendship circle.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • understand ways to start a conversation
  • identify mistakes that could hamper friendship development.
Activity 01

Instructions 5 min

  1. Hand each student a sheet of paper.
  2. Ask them to draw a grid on the paper with four squares.
  3. Ask them to label the first two squares ‘DO’ and the last two squares ‘DON’T’.
  4. Read students this case study: ‘Hannah, aged 16, is at a big function where she knows only a few people and is feeling a bit shy and isolated. She sees another person about her age and decides to try to start a conversation with him.
  5. Ask each student to independently think of two pieces of advice they could give Hannah about what to DO to successfully start and maintain the conversation. Students write their responses in the two ‘DO’ squares on their grid.
  6. Then ask them to think of two mistakes that Hannah should try to avoid, and to write these in the ‘DON’T’ squares on their grid.

Debrief: Explain to students that while it can sometimes be overwhelming to approach people and start a conversation in a group situation, it can be helpful to focus on things to do, rather than on what not to do.