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Language and Communication Think through more complex social situations  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


To use problem solving and reasoning skills to think through social situations which are not right / wrong situations.

Early years skill:not specified
Early years typical range:not specified
P-scales/Curriculum skill:PSHE and Citizenship
P-scales/Curriculum level:L1
TAP skill:Social Interaction
TAP level:TAP60
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Primary (5-11yrs) info; Secondary (11-16yrs) info
Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments

Newspaper or children's paper or magazine

Large sheet of paper


Choose a page of a newspaper or children's paper, or cut out some stories from a newspaper. (You could also do this on line if you have access to a computer. It is very motivating for the children!)

Choose stories that will prompt discussion and are not simple right / wrong issues.

Put the main person in the story in a circle in the middle of a page. Draw lots of lines out of the circle, and think of different things the person could do. Have each child circle the one they think they would suggest . Help the children think about what will happen if the person takes their advice.

You're in charge!

Cards to write situations on.



Prepare some situations before the session, and write one on each card. E.g. football match, dinner hall in school, break time, getting up in the morning.

Have the children work together in pairs, or small groups. Tell them to imagine there are no rules, and they have to decide what should happen in the situation they pick / are given.

Help the children to think through what will happen if everyone followed their rules - what they would do, how they would feel, why. You may want to raise problems to their rules, to prompt them to think about them further.

Have each group say what was the best rule another group said / something they think is a good idea.

Freeze frames

Short video clips from children's programmes

Stop the video at a point in the programme where there is an interaction between 2 people.

Pause the video, so you can see the picture.

Discuss with the children what the situation is. Talk about how people are feeling as well as what they are doing. If they have not seen the programme, talk about what the characters could do next, then watch the clip and see who was right.

You could write individual or group letters to the programme makers suggesting an ending to this scene.

Alien bluff

Alien puppet or picture.

Cards to write situations on.

Everyday situations at school and home.

Have the children work in teams. One team has the alien, the other team is given a situation.

Tell the children that the alien has come to earth, and doesn't understand anything that is going on. It is their job to try and explain. However, to make it more interesting, you are going to try and trick the alien.

The second group are given a situation, e.g. 'Someone is going to the front of the hall in assembly, the Head teacher is at the front too. People are smiling.' They must think of 2 or more explanations for this situation. They then tell their explanations to the first team, who have to guess which is the right one. (You judge which is the right one).

The teams then swap roles, with a different situation.

Use a variety of situations - in class, in whole school events, in the playground, at home, etc.

Social Sequences

LDA what's wrong social sequencing cards.

Paper or whiteboard


Use the first 2 cards of the 3 card sequence.

Discuss the situation with the children, and list on paper or a white board the different options the people have to solve the problem.

Have a look at the last card. Help the children work out why the people chose the option they did to solve the situation.

Talk about what the children would do.

Use paper or a white board to keep the discussion focused.

Use facial emotions cards as visual prompts to help the children think about what people are feeling and why.

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