Communicating assertively and respectfully can help us to maintain positive friendships. In this lesson, students identify and discuss strategies they can use to improve their communication skills.

Year level



5 minutes


In class activity

Take away activity

SEL Competencies

Social awareness

Relationship skills

Learning intention

Students learn communication strategies for improving and maintaining their friendships.

Key outcomes

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

  • Identify and discuss different communication strategies they can use to improve and maintain their friendships and to seek help from or give support to others.

Materials needed

  • Access to the ReachOut article 3 steps to better communication

  • Pens and paper

  • Students’ devices

Mapped to

Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Explain and apply skills and strategies to communicate assertively and respectfully when seeking, giving or denying consent (AC9HP8P07)

Australian Curriculum: General Capabilities

  • Personal and Social Capability:

    • Social awareness

NSW PDHPE Syllabus

  • Applies and refines interpersonal skills to assist themselves and others to interact respectfully and promote inclusion in a variety of groups or contexts (PD4-10)

Victorian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Examine barriers to seeking support and evaluate strategies to overcome these (VCHPEP125)

Show details

Activity 1


5 minutes

  1. Ask students to read the ReachOut article 3 steps to better communication on their devices.

  2. Hand each student a blank piece of paper and ask them to divide it into three columns titled:

    • ‘Active listening’

    • ‘Assertive communication’

    • ‘Body language’

  3. Students write down one strategy for each type of behaviour that they think could be useful when communicating with friends. For example:

    • Active listening: Let others talk.

    • Assertive communication: Stand up for your rights.

    • Body language: Use an open posture.

  4. Briefly discuss students’ answers as a class and encourage them to add any other strategies they might find useful.

Debrief: Explain to students that working on simple communication skills can help them to maintain and improve their friendships. Encourage them to practise some of the strategies they’ve chosen outside of class, whether that’s in the playground, at home or when meeting new people. For more information, direct students to:


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