10 Social Skills Activities for High School Students

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When I think about how to prepare my kids for success as adults, the number one thing that pops into my head is helping them have the skills to build relationships, be kind, and work well with people around them. I want them to have social skills!

Whether you’re a teacher, mother, or leader of any kind, you’ve probably had a similar thought. And as much as high school-aged kids love sitting down for boring lessons, I thought adding some fun into it was a better idea. 

So I’ve found 10 social skills activities for high school students that are fun, interactive, and help build those important skills! And I can’t wait to try some of them out!

What are Social Skills

Social skills are all the skills that help you communicate, work with, and build relationships with the people around you. There are way too many to list, but here are a few examples!

  • Respect
  • Teamwork
  • Empathy
  • Active listening
  • Communication
  • Reading social cues
  • Sharing
  • Emotional regulation

Each of these and any other social skills are so essential for high school students to learn! It’ll help them build healthy relationships throughout school and so far beyond. Could there be anything more helpful for a young adult to learn? 

Luckily, there are lots of ways to build these skills, like these social skills activities!

Social Skills Activities for High School Students

Ready to have some fun with some social skills activities? Here they are!

1. Get to Know You Bingo

Get to know you bingo is a classic for a reason! All you need to do is give each student a blank bingo sheet and have them fill it in with basic facts about themself. 

It can be things like where they were born, their birth month, favorite color, or anything they can think of. Then they go around the room looking for people that have one of the same things on their board. If they found someone else with the same fact, they can both mark it off.

The first one to get a bingo wins!

2. Role Play 

To really help work on social skills, you’ve got to practice! Role play can be a great tool for practicing different social skills.

Work on empathy by role-playing a situation where someone is struggling. Work on teamwork by putting a group together for a role play. Or work on communication by role-playing any sort of scenario!

Whatever you choose, role plays are a fun social skills activity and a great learning tool. 

3. Conversation Card Speed “Dating”

To work on their communication skills, try lining the group up speed-dating style and giving them conversation ideas on index cards. Have them talk to each other and work on starting up conversations.

They’ll get to know each other so much better and feel more comfortable talking to different types of people.

4. Strengths Jenga

This might be one of my favorite social skills activities! Grab a jenga game and pass out a block to everyone in the group. 

Have each person write down what they think is their greatest strength. Have them read of their trait as they add it to a Jenga tower.

Explain how important it is to value those around you and work with each other in order to be successful.

5. Debates

Another great activity that helps with recognizing social cues and learning respect is having debates! Debates can be about anything from hot topic issues to what the best flavor of pie is.

It’s up to you and your type of group what topic you think is best, but if you want some great ideas for debate topics we’ve got some great teen-friendly ones to choose from!

6. Empathy Map

I love the idea from Hope 5 Hurting Kids to make an Empathy map. Empathy can be a hard topic to really understand for developing minds and it helps break it down in a fun way.

Especially in a time of life when empathy often is lost, this map activity can be really helpful. Basically, you choose a situation that the students may encounter and go through what you see versus what a person feels.

The whole experience is so reflective for any age!

7. Service Project

How about a service project in your community? Service is a great way to help kids build social skills! They communicate as they coordinate their efforts, learn empathy for others, and work together as they complete the project.

If you’re in a formal classroom, you could do something that you could do right from the class, or if you have the ability to travel you could take a field trip to do a project. 

8. Class Meeting

A good simple social skills activity that you could incorporate regularly into your class or group is a meeting! 

Alternate different roles like meeting leader, scribe, etc., and let the students bring things to the table to discuss. Not only will they be working on their social skills, but it also gives them a chance to express themselves and feel like they are a part of something.

9. Acts of Kindness Board

I love the idea of creating an act of kindness bulletin board as an activity to do with high school students.

Find a space to place a board that says “acts of kindness” and leave sticky notes or spaces for people who pass by to add a message about something kind that they did or even something kind someone else did for them. 

It’s a great way to encourage students to interact, communicate, and be kind to each other in a fun way!

10. Group Scattergories

Split the group into small groups of 3-4 people and play Scattergories. You can have the groups take turns choosing different letters. Be prepared with topics that each group has to use to think of things that start with the chosen letters. 

Working as a group can be tricky, but it’ll help them work together and take turns choosing different answers to submit as a group. 

If another group has the same answer, neither group gets a point. But if a group comes up with an exclusive and relevant answer, they’ll get a point. Whoever gets the most points wins!

Do you like these social activities for high school students? Let us know in the comments!

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