Head into fall with these fun social skills activities and lessons for kids: Practice gratitude this Thanksgiving, encourage good manners and respect in the classroom and promote diversity and inclusion amongst students in K-2.
Social Skills Activities for Fall
Fall presents opportunities to build our student’s social skills by teaching lessons on respect, gratitude, and inclusion. Teaching these concepts helps create that positive energy in the classroom that you’ve worked hard on since the start of school.
When we teach these types of social skills activities and lessons, kids continue to feel a part of the classroom community and begin to develop relationships that they will strengthen throughout the year.
4 Types of Social Skills Activities to Teach this Fall
Below are four types of fall-themed social skills activities and lessons kids will enjoy!
With Thanksgiving around the corner, fall naturally lends itself to the topic of gratitude. Take time to discuss what it means to be grateful and all the things around us that we are thankful for with your students. Try social skills activities that encourage kids to regularly recognize and appreciate what they are grateful for to form healthy habits for the future!
It’s a few months into the school year, and students may need reminders about being polite and using proper manners in the classroom. Discuss what it means to have good manners and the importance of being polite. Practice using manners in various ways through interactive social skills activities.
Like manners, kids often need a lesson or two on respect in the fall. Discuss what it means to show respect to those around you. Teach and talk to students about how it feels when someone respects them and how it makes others feel when they are also respectful. Try a few respect activities to help students build social skills!
4. Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are significant both in and out of the classroom. The fall months present an opportune time to teach students what it means to be different and value one another. Discuss how important it is to include everyone while embracing their unique qualities. These values are instilled through creative social skills activities.
11 Fall Social Skills Activities
Try the fall-themed social skills activities and lessons below or these fall activities for kids for more fun options!
“We Are Thankful” Discussion & Anchor Chart
Start your lessons on gratitude with a class discussion about the things we are thankful for. Read a story about being thankful together to encourage ideas.
- Read the book Thankful by Eileen Spinelli with your students. Discuss the things they are thankful for in the book.
- Ask students to think about what they are thankful for and have them share with a friend.
- Record student ideas on the anchor chart. For example, “Ben is thankful for his house.”
- Have students write about what they are thankful for and draw a picture. Use these to create a fall-themed bulletin board.
“I’m so Thankful” Turkey Craftivity
Kids love anything to do with turkeys! Discuss things that students are thankful for and then write ideas on the feathers of a turkey.
- Discuss what it means to be thankful together as a class.
- Take turns sharing different things you’re thankful for in your home, classroom, school, and community.
- Create a turkey craft! Students write what they are thankful for on different turkey feathers. Attach the turkey head and its feathers around the turkey head.
- Alternatively, kids can draw a turkey, and write their ideas on the turkey’s feathers.
Encourage kids to answer questions that prompt them to show gratitude. These questions work great anytime of the day or during a morning meeting.
- Students pick a prompt and read what the card says or asks.
- Students share their responses as a class or with a partner.
Encourage students to demonstrate gratitude for a month. They can keep track on a gratitude calendar and record what they are grateful for each day. This is a fun challenge to complete as a class!
- Print a gratitude calendar for each student or one for the class to complete together. Grab the gratitude calendars for free below!
- Encourage kids to reflect each day on something different.
- Write a word, write a sentence or draw a picture daily to show what they are grateful for.
- At the end of the month, students can share the calendar once it is complete.
“Meaningful Manners” Discussion & Anchor Chart
Kids should be able to identify what it means to have good manners, and this lesson helps with that. Discuss what good manners are and their importance.
- Brainstorm what manners look, sound, and feel like, and record ideas on an anchor chart.
- Discuss the importance of manners and how they make others feel when we use them.
- Students write or draw what good manners look, sound, and feel like.
Manners Role Play
Acting out manners is an excellent way for students to recognize what is polite and what isn’t. Give students scenarios to act out and discuss them together.
- Explain a situation where manners are or aren’t used.
- Ask students to act out the scenario.
- Discuss as a group and decide if polite or impolite manners were being used.
- Challenge kids to act out an alternative way using good manners for impolite examples.
Polite & Impolite Things to Say
Kids need to identify if the manners they use are polite or impolite. This sorting activity is an interactive way to further this understanding!
- Read the different scenarios on the cards. Discuss.
- Decide if they are polite things to say or impolite things to say.
- Sort them into the correct pile or under the proper heading.
“I am Respectful” Discussion & Anchor Chart
In this important lesson, students will describe what it means to be a respectful person and the importance of being respectful to others.
- As a class, discuss what it means to be respectful.
- Create an anchor chart and brainstorm what it means to be respectful in your classroom, school, home, and community. Record different ways you can be respectful in those places.
- Students write how they show respect in their classroom, school, home, and community.
Respect Week of Activities
Respect can be a tricky concept to grasp. Help create a lasting impression with a week of respect activities! Complete a different act of respect each day during the week and reflect on it in a journal.
- Ask students, “What does it mean to be respectful?”
- Tell students that for a week, they will be completing different respect tasks each day.
- After completing each task, students write and draw about what they did in a journal.
Our Class is a Family Book Activity & Family Tree
A classroom is very much like a family! Is it not? Teach students how important it is to be a family in your classroom. Discuss why your classroom family is essential and how you will respect and value one another.
- Read the book Our Class is a Family by Shannon Olsen with your students and discuss the different parts of the story.
- After the story, ask students if they connect with any parts of the story and why.
- Encourage them to share reasons why it’s important to have a family and why it’s important for our classroom to be a family.
- Have kids write their name on a heart and decorate it.
- Create a classroom family tree anchor chart and glue the hearts to it.
- Students can write about how and why their class is a family.
Encourage kids to practice including everyone in actionable ways. They will color in spaces on a BINGO card for each “inclusive” action they complete. Kids will become more aware of ways that they can include everyone.
- Review with kids what it means to be inclusive and what things they can do each day to make sure everyone feels included.
- Hand out a printable copy of the ‘Inclusion’ BINGO card to each child.
- Tell them they are to fill in spaces on their cards for each action they complete.
- Spend time over the week asking kids which inclusive actions they completed. They color in the coordinating space on their card.
- You can challenge kids to see how many inclusive acts they can complete in a week (or longer).
NOTE: The point here is not to see or point out who fills in the most spaces or to give out rewards. It encourages all kids to act inclusively regularly, hoping that these acts will occur more naturally.
Fall SEL Resource
All 11 activities in this post, plus 12 more, are available in the Fall Social-Emotional Learning resource by Proud to be Primary.
This one resource is the perfect companion to your lessons this fall.
The SEL Fall lessons and activities resource includes PRINTABLE & DIGITAL mini-lesson ideas to fill your lesson plans with engaging activities kids will love.
Free Printable Gratitude Calendar
Promote and practice gratitude with your students with this FREE Gratitude Calendar resource! Challenge your students to recognize what they are grateful for each day with specific prompts to follow.
Click the image below to grab a copy.
More Fall Activities for the Classroom
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FREE Social Emotional Learning Email Series
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I tried to download the gratitude calendar, but kept getting an error message. Is it no longer available?
Proud to be Primary
Hi Cathy. You can sign up for a copy by clicking the image above. If it continues to give you errors, please reach out via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.