Playlist teacher guide - Positive relationships

Playlist information

Playlist summary

This playlist explores different groups students may belong to, why they belong there, roles and behaviours within them, and how empathy and respect can help build positive relationships and a strong sense of belonging.

Playlist purpose

The content of the playlist supports students to:

  • use the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model
  • identify characteristics of inclusive groups
  • explore the benefits of showing empathy and respect to others
  • disagree respectfully, compromise and cooperate
  • recognise behaviours that contribute to positive relationships.

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Learning objectives

  • Identify different types of groups and characteristics that make them inclusive.
  • Recognise behaviours that demonstrate empathy, inclusion and respect for others.
  • Develop skills and behaviours to be more inclusive of others and ensure group members feel they belong.
  • Develop the skills required to contribute to group decisions and work cooperatively with each other.

Key messages

  • Valuing and fostering diversity in friendships groups is an important aspect in understanding others and creating a sense of belonging.
  • Showing respect and empathy for myself and others helps to build positive and respectful friendships.
  • Inclusive and cooperative behaviours demonstrate respect, enhance group relationships and strengthen a sense of belonging.
  • It is important to feel respected and valued in groups you belong to.
  • Effective communication, compromise, cooperation and inclusion helps a group to make decisions respectfully.

Year level(s) appropriate for

Year 3, Year 4

Australian curriculum links

Describe how respect, empathy and valuing diversity can positively influence relationships.

Identify and practise strategies to promote health, safety and wellbeing.

Explore strategies to manage physical, social and emotional change.

Media items

Feel, Think, Act, Reflect - Years 3-4

Type: Slides.

Duration: 5 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: These slides introduce (or recap) the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect Model and Nova and Dax.

Teacher notes:

The Feel-Think-Act-Reflect model (Feel, Think, Act, Reflect) for Foundation to Year 6 provides an overarching framework for decision making used across the four stages of learning. The model provides a consistent structure for exploring the understanding and skills required to establish and maintain respectful relationships.

Students would not be expected to reflect/regulate as a situation is occurring. Teaching the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model through the use of scenarios and reflecting on situations will provide opportunity for students to practise using the framework for decision making. Through practise and guidance students will begin to adopt this approach in real life situations.

The model for Foundation to Year 6 includes the following four steps:

Feel - in order to react and act respectfully to a situation it is important for students to understand their emotions and how they are feeling. Taking time to understand how they feel about a particular situation can help them make good decisions and respond in a way that is respectful of themselves and others around them. Students should ask themselves ‘What am I feeling?’ and ‘Why do I feel that way?”.

When students apply the Feel section of the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model they are thinking about how they are feeling. What is my body feeling? Where am I feeling it and what is the emotion associated with that feeling? When students re-apply the feel section after they have acted on a decision, they are thinking about how they feel about the outcome of the decision. What am I feeling? How do I know? This cycle then creates a reflective process.

Think - before taking any action or saying anything in a situation it is important for students to think about themselves and about others. When thinking about themselves students need to be clear about exactly what they are hoping to achieve in the situation. When thinking about others, students need to explore how they might be feeling and why they may have acted in a particular way. Collecting this information is a key part of deciding how they will react. Students should think about:

  • exactly what it is they want
  • how other people are feeling and why they might have acted the way they did
  • the choices they could make.

This is important in helping students decide how to act.

Act - Once students have worked out how they feel about the situation and they have thought about the feelings and motivations of the other people involved in the situation, then they are ready to act themselves. It is important to ensure that when they respond that they behave respectfully, and they don’t escalate the situation with their behaviour. Students choose the action that they think will work best for everyone and do it. After acting, students are encouraged to move on to the Reflect step.

Reflect - When this model is applied as a cyclic model it provides an opportunity to reflect on the choice that was made, to explore how students and others felt about their decision and the consequences of that decision before taking any further action. Students need to think about the choice they made, how they and others felt about it and the consequences of that choice. This may mean students need to make a different choice to act or simply reflect on what they would do next time the situation arises.

 

Suggested activities:

WALA (we are learning about): the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect Model.

Possible inquiry question: how can I show empathy and respect when solving problems with others?

Slide 1: Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model

  • Explain to students that they will be using the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model to help them make choices and use behaviours that are respectful to themselves and others.
  • Read through the steps of the model and ask students to suggest what they think each step might mean.
  • Additional activity: Get moving – add an action for each step. Students stand up for activity. Place hands on their heart for feel, hands on head for think, jump up with arms up to dive for act, and a full star jump for reflect.

Slides 2-5: Steps

Feel

To be respectful in a situation, it’s important to understand your feelings.

Knowing how you feel can help you make good choices and do and say things in a way that’s respectful of yourself and others around you.

You can also try to think about why you are feeling that way, although sometimes you might not know why.

Think

Before doing or saying anything in a situation it is important to think about yourself and about others.

You should think about:

  • exactly what it is you want
  • how other people are feeling and why they might have acted the way they did
  • the choices you could make.

This is important in helping you decide how to act.

Act

When you have thought about how everyone is feeling and what everyone is thinking then you are ready to act yourself.

Choose the action that you think will work best for everyone and do it. It is important to remember to behave respectfully when you respond and that you don’t make the situation worse with your behaviour.

Reflect

When you have acted on your decision, you need to think about the choice you made, how you and others felt about it, and the consequences of that choice.

To help you do this you can go back to the top of the model and use each step again. Think about how everyone is feeling and what they were thinking. This might mean you have to make a different choice to act on.

 

Additional activities:

Students create their own bookmark showing each step of the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model and what each step involves.

Ian

Type: Video.

Duration: 10 minutes.

Source: The CGBros. ()

Summary: All Ian wants is to make friends, although it seems impossible to achieve when discrimination and bullying keep him away from his beloved playground.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Are some people so different from everyone else that they will never be able to make friends? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    Discussion points:

    The media instils the belief that friendship is attainable for everyone and something to be aspired to ... but this doesn't work for all kids - particularly for kids with a disability.

    As a class explore different social practices and nuances and discuss how some students’ individual differences could make it very difficult for them to make friends and feel like they belong in peer groups.

    Propose strategies for how students can help their peers feel more included in the playground and in class if they notice they are being excluded or rejected from other groups.

Groups are good!

Type: Slides.

Duration: 5 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: We have relationships with many people – home, school, friends, and interest groups. These relationships are important, because they can make us feel good about ourselves.

Suggested activities:

WALA (we are learning about):  characteristics of inclusive groups.

Possible inquiry question: how does being inclusive affect the well-being of others?

Think: students think about something positive they experience with friends or family.

Pair: students share with a partner anything a friend has helped them with, encouraged them to do or how a friend has made them feel good.

In small groups, students apply the feel-think-act-reflect model to scenarios around types of groups that students may belong in. Students can apply the model from any perspective. Consider scenarios that are relevant to your students, such as:

  • a soccer group at school won’t pass the ball to less skilled players on the team
  • a choir club where anyone is welcome to weekly practise whether they are in the choir or not; friendship group where one member is the boss and gets to choose who can and can’t join in the activities
  • a friendship group plays together, and everyone has a turn at choosing what they play
  • a group gathers for a sports day after school where all members receive a free ball – the boys are given blue balls and the girls are given pink balls, but everyone trains together.

Groups share their ideas with the class.

Further discussion: How would you describe this group? Would you like to be a part of it? Why or why not? Would you change anything about the group?

Slide 1: Groups

We have relationships with many people. We have relationships with our parents, siblings, extended family members, and even our friends at home and at school. Having relationships with other people is important, because these connections with other people can make us feel good about ourselves.

Slide 2: Types of groups

Groups are two or more people that spend time together and who have something in common.

Groups can include family, extended family, cousins, small peer groups, close family friends, classrooms, sports teams, work groups, music groups and hobby groups.

Slide 3: Positive friendship groups

Positive friendship groups can support and help each other to:

  • set limits for acceptable behaviour e.g. no gossip and bullying
  • make good choices
  • be accepting of each other’s differences
  • be involved in positive activities like sport, music, friendships
  • join in with other positive people involved in worthwhile groups like protecting the environment, sports teams, volunteer groups, scouts, drama and music groups
  • speak out against bullying, gossip and name-calling.

Slide 4: Benefits of positive friendship groups

Being part of a positive friendship group can offer lots of things like:

  • having fun with your friends
  • feeling like you belong and are valued for yourself
  • feeling confident and secure with people
  • feeling safe enough to take positive risks and offer ideas
  • getting to know more people
  • learning to discuss, negotiate and make decisions
  • learning to get on with other people
  • feeling that you are listened to and accepted
  • sharing interests and learning new things.

 

Additional activities:

Images from James Mollison’s Playground series can be used to spark conversation around positive and negative behaviours of groups in the playground.

Nova Joins a Group

Type: Slides.

Duration: 6 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: Nova’s been accepted into the coolest group in her grade. For a while, she enjoys following their rules, but starts to notice that it might not be as nice as she first thought.

Suggested activities:

WALA (we are learning about): behaviours that contribute to positive relationships.

Possible inquiry question: why is a sense of belonging important in groups?

Read through the story Nova Joins A Group considering the following discussion points:

  • Screen 2: What does it feel like to be accepted into a new group?
  • Screen 7: What is happening to Nova? If you were Nova how would you feel? What do you think might happen next?
  • Screen 9: Why do you think Olivia reacted this way? What advice would you give Nova?
  • Screen 12: What do you think Nova has realised?
  • End of story: How would you describe Olivia’s group? Nova decided to leave Olivia’s group. What do you think of that decision?

Have students identify parts of the story that demonstrate Nova using the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model.

 

Additional activities:

Reading response activities could include:

  • How would you solve the problems of the character in the story?
  • How do you feel about the characters in the story? Would you like to be friends with any of them? Why or why not?
  • If you met one of the characters in the story what 5 questions would you most like to ask them?
  • Use mime, body language or body movements to express the emotions experienced by the characters in the story. Show the audience (non-verbally) whether a positive or negative behaviour has created each emotion.
  • Make a postcard with a design on the front that shows a positive friendship group. Write to one of the characters about what an inclusive group looks like.

For the Birds

Type: Video.

Duration: 3 minutes.

Source: Pixar Animation Studio. ()

Summary: Things don’t end well for a group of birds that try to keep a big friendly bird from joining in with them as they hang out on a power line.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Have you ever been following the behaviour of the rest of the group, only to find out too late the consequences of being a part of that behaviour? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    Discussion points:

    Often we are behaving as a group without contemplating what the outcomes or consequences of that behaviour might be for ourselves or for others.

    This is often the case when we are in a group of people who are targeting an individual with insults or harassment. The choices we make in that instance can be the difference between being a willing participant who condones the disrespectful behaviour or being an active bystander, who defies the rest of the group and stands up and challenges the behaviour.

A Joy Story: Joy and Heron

Type: Video.

Duration: 4 minutes.

Source: JD.com, Inc.. ()

Summary: Giving can be much more fulfilling than taking. Joy and Heron show how.

Teacher notes:

What is empathy and how does it help maintain a group?

Empathy is the ability to understand how someone else is feeling or to understand the situation they are in. It is the ability to “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” and to understand the way a situation might make them feel.

Empathy is at the base of all healthy relationships and can affect how we get along with other people. It helps us recognise how our actions affect others, what actions we need to take to be a good friend or teammate, and it helps us understand more about the people and the world around us. Through empathy we learn to understand each other which helps to build friendships. When we understand how others might be feeling it helps us to respond more appropriately and make better choices when interacting with others. This might mean people are more likely to compromise, cooperate, communicate respectfully, help each other and work out problems together. In a group, this allows members of the group to feel respected and want to remain part of the group.

 

Behaviours that demonstrate empathy

Empathy is an important skill for building and maintaining relationships and one that can be developed. Below are some examples of how to show empathy for others:

  • Put your own point of view aside and listen to someone else’s point of view.
  • Listen with your ears, your eyes and your heart. What is the other person saying, what does their body language tell you and how do you think they are feeling?
  • Try not to judge someone before you think about their perspective.
  • Offer help and show someone you want to make things easier for them.
  • Imagine what it would be like to be the other person and think about what they need.
  • Treat people as being important.
  • Challenge stereotypes and treat each person as an individual.

Suggested activities:

WALA (we are learning about):  how empathy and respect can help to build positive relationships

Possible inquiry question: how does empathy help my friendships?

 

Discussion:

  • What do you think the film Joy Story was about?
  • What did you feel when you watched it?
  • Have you had something you were playing with taken off you by another person? How did that make you feel?
  • What is it called when you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand exactly how they are feeling? Explain to students that this is empathy?
  • How does empathy help to build friendships? When we put ourselves in another person’s shoes, we are often more sensitive to what that person is experiencing. This helps us to respond more appropriately and make better choices when interacting with others. This might mean people are more likely to help each other and work out problems together. In a group, this allows members of the group to feel respected and want to remain part of the group.

 

Ask students: What actions and behaviours might show empathy to your friends?

Additional activities:

Students add to their Respect Y chart showing what empathy looks like, sounds like and feels like.

 

The following resources can be used to allow students to experience empathic feelings:

 

Videos demonstrating empathetic behaviours or may evoke empathetic feelings:

  • The Present: tells the story of a young boy who spends most of his time playing video games. His mum gives him a present which the boy rejects when he opens it. It is a dog with a missing leg. Viewers can feel empathy towards the dog as the boy continues to reject him. Eventually he gives in and viewers see that the boy also has a missing leg.
  • Empathy can change the world: creates an understanding of what empathy is and encourages the viewer to look at their own life and see how empathy might change the lives of people around them.
  • Teaching the Importance of Empathy: shows how the lack of empathy can get in the way of solving problems.
  • Soccer game: Young soccer players realising the disappointment the losing team was feeling and showing empathy towards them.

Images from the book ‘Where children sleep’ shows inequalities around the world and can evoke discussion on empathy.

Dax and Nova’s Project

Type: Slides.

Duration: 5 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: It’s a new school year, and Nova and Dax are in the same class together, completing a group project. Everything is going well until Dax notices one member of the group isn’t doing their fair share of the task.

Suggested activities:

WALA (we are learning about): behaviours that contribute to positive relationships.

Possible inquiry question: how do my contributions affect group activities?

Read through the story Dax and Nova’s Group Project considering the following discussion points:

  • Screen 5: Why do you think Emma is behaving this way? What do you think she is feeling? Is Emma being respectful to the rest of the group? What do you think Emma should do?
  • Screen 9: What part of the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model are Nova and Dax involved in? (Think step) Are there any other options they could choose?
  • End of story: Do you think this group was inclusive or exclusive? Why didn’t Emma help the group to start with? When Emma was feeling worried about drawing, what could she have done?

Recall the events of story.

Ask students to share a time when they were working in a group and a group member wasn’t contributing. How did it make them feel? How did they handle the situation? Was it resolved?

In groups role play the story with a different focus for each group. For example: Emma uses the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model in the beginning to solve the drawing issue, Nova and Dax choose to act a different way to solve the problem, the group shows no empathy for Emma. Discuss how each change to the story has affected the outcome. Which approach created the best outcome?

The 3 Cs

Type: Slides.

Duration: 5 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: This page looks at how communication, compromise, and cooperation can help make a group the best it can be.

Teacher notes:

Students will recognise the role they play in the groups they belong to and how their own actions contribute to the wellbeing of the group. They will develop an understanding of some of the skills required to contribute to positive friendships in their peer groups.

Suggested activities:

WALA (we are learning about): how the 3 Cs help to make our relationships positive, safe and healthy.

Possible inquiry question: how do my contributions affect group activities?

When we consider the needs of others and show empathy and respect, we are helping to make our relationships positive, safe and healthy. Each person in a group has a role to play in helping the group become the best it can be. To do this we need to use the 3 Cs: communication, compromise and cooperation.

Slide 1: Communication and disagreements

Communication is the way we send and receive messages.

Sometimes when we communicate with our friends, we find we don’t agree with each other, and this is a normal part of a relationship. How we deal with our disagreements is important and disagreeing respectfully is a skill everyone can learn.

Slide 2: Compromise

Compromise is a way of reaching an agreement in which each person or group gives up something that was wanted in order to end an argument or disagreement.

Slide 3: Cooperation

Cooperation is when people work or act together to achieve a common goal.

To cooperate with others, we need to take turns, work together and share. For cooperation to work, everyone has to be an active member of the team and do what they agree to do.

  • Ask students to suggest ways that the 3 Cs might help, or have helped, their friendships.
  • Explain to students that they will be learning more about each of the 3 Cs: communication, compromise and cooperation.

Kid President Is Over It!

Type: Video.

Duration: 5 minutes.

Source: SoulPancake. ()

Summary: How do you disagree with someone respectfully? Here are Kid President's six steps to learning how to disagree with people without making everybody feel terrible.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Yelling loudly helps to win an argument. Answers
    1. a.True
    2. b.False
    3. c.Unsure
    Discussion points:

    Expressing your thoughts and feelings calmly and avoiding yelling helps other people understand you. When we yell, other people may feel scared or angry and they stop listening to what you are trying to say. They may even yell back and then the problem doesn’t get solved, even worse, it might become a bigger problem.

  2. Question number 2. Disagreeing with friends is normal. Answers
    1. a.True
    2. b.False
    3. c.Unsure
    Discussion points:

    Disagreeing with others is a normal part of a relationship. We are all different people with our own thoughts and feelings. We won’t always see things the same way as our friends but expressing how we feel in a calm way helps us understand each other. What is important is the way we disagree and how often we disagree.

    We should seek help from a trusted adult if we are constantly disagreeing about the same thing, feel threatened by our friend or feel like we are pressured to always give in to what the other person wants.

  3. Question number 3. Do you have to eventually agree on the same thing? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Sometimes
    4. d.Unsure
    Discussion points:

    It’s great when we listen to each other and we can see each other’s point of view but sometimes we just can’t agree and that is ok. We just agree to disagree. This might mean we need to talk to someone about the disagreement and see if they can help. Other times we just accept each other’s differences and try to understand their choices without agreeing with them.

    Sometimes when we can’t agree we can compromise and each person gets a little bit of what they want as long as both people are happy with the compromise.

Teacher notes:

Communication

Communication involves someone sending a message to someone else who receives and understands the intended meaning and responds appropriately. Skills required for effective communication are those involving verbal and nonverbal communication, active listening, assertiveness, negotiation and conflict resolution.

To communicate effectively in a group all members need to feel safe expressing their thoughts and feelings, but they also need to do so respectfully and calmly. Everyone has the right to be heard and to communicate effectively we need to listen to what others are saying.

There will always be differences between you and other people and conflict is part of life and relationships. Being respectful means that you accept others for who they are, and they accept you for who you are. You may not always agree with each other but knowing how to disagree respectfully is a skill everyone can learn.

Some ways to disagree respectfully:

  • Treat people like people and consider their thoughts and feelings.
  • Listen to the other person’s point of view without trying to change their mind. 
  • Express your thoughts and feelings calmly and try to avoid yelling.
  • Be kind when responding and try not to say mean things to the other person.

Suggested activities:

WALA (we are learning about): how the 3 Cs help to make our relationships positive, safe and healthy.

Possible inquiry question: how do my contributions affect group activities?

Discuss ways to disagree respectfully

Additional activities:

Conduct role plays where two students are arguing about a topic. Have students suggest ways to disagree respectfully. Use the Feel, Think, Act, Reflect model to consider how each person is feeling, what they are thinking and what they could do to improve the situation.

Activities and extras

For further information, lesson plans and resources to support students around the topics of bullying and wellbeing, see the following resources: