Conversations and relationships

Good conversational skills are at the heart of developing positive relationships. Open and respectful communication within relationships occurs when all parties are able to express their ideas, thoughts and views. This communication should be equal and provide opportunities for students to express things that are upsetting or disrespectful, or that go against their values. By learning the role of effective communication, and what it looks like, students will be empowered to build and maintain healthy relationships.

Year Level



60 minutes


  • In class activity
  • Online learning

SEL Competencies

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship skills

Learning Intention

Students learn about the importance of open and respectful communication for building and developing friendships.

Key Outcomes

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

  • identify forms of open communication
  • understand the role of different relationships in their life
  • reflect on their own communication skills.
Activity 01

Roundtable activity: The effects of communication  40 min

This activity is designed to highlight the important role of positive relationships for student wellbeing.

1. Write ‘What effect does open and respectful communication have on building healthy relationships and personal wellbeing?’ on a whiteboard or in a central location.

2. Set up five stations around the room with A3 paper, or virtually with a digital mind-mapping tool. Label each station as follows:

  • Teacher
  • Adult family member
  • Brother, sister or cousin
  • Friend at school
  • Friend outside school with whom they share a structured activity (e.g. sport, drama, debating, Girl Guides/Scouts).

3. At each station, ask students to write ways they can communicate openly and respectfully with the person named on the sheet of paper at the station. Encourage students to be specific, rather than general.

4. After a few minutes, ask students to move to a new station in a round robin style, and to record ways they can communicate openly and respectfully with the person named on the sheet of paper at the new station. Each group/student should try to avoid repeating an answer that has already been written.

5. Students repeat the activity until they have visited all five stations.