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Communication skills for successful friendships

Possible Learning Activities

  • In groups, students can role-play situations in which healthy decisions need to be made, such as about alcohol or drugs, peer pressure, smoking, stealing, or discrimination. To do this, students prepare a scenario that: 
    • sets the scene
    • requires a healthy decision to be made
    • demonstrates assertiveness skills
    • uses “I” statements
    • shows positive and/or negative feedback being given.

Active listening and mediation

  • Students can learn and demonstrate the skills of active listening 
  • Exploring non-verbal communication (pages 41–43)
  • Paraphrasing and summarising (pages 48–49) 
  • Reflecting their feelings (pages 50–51)
    • undertaking the assessment activity (pages 52–53)
  • Students could learn the process of mediation, apply their active listening skills, and use open questions in a mediation situation (pages 123–126).

Possible Learning Activities

Applying feedback and assertiveness skills to make healthy decisions in relationships

  • Students can recall the three different types of response behaviours – passive, aggressive, and assertive – and the consequences of these in different friendship situations (pages 57–59). 
  • Students can recall how to use “I” statements (pages 72–75). 
  • Students can recall how to give and receive positive and negative feedback (pages 66–70 and 72–78). 
  • Students can recall how to use decision-making skills in friendship situations (pages 96–98).

Possible Learning Activities

Using negotiation skills to resolve conflict

  • Students can recall causes of conflict and how it affects friendships (pages 113–118). 
  • Students can recall negotiation skills (pages 105–106). 
  • Students can demonstrate negotiation skills to resolve conflict in friendships (pages 107 and 120).

Suggested learning outcomes

Students will:

  • demonstrate the skills of active listening and use these in mediation situations (4C3)
  • use “I” statements to express feelings verbally (4C3)
  • give and receive positive and negative feedback and use assertiveness to make healthy decisions (5C3)
  • use negotiation skills to resolve conflict in relationships (5C1/3).


(particularly taha whānau, taha hinengaro, and taha wairua)  

Using effective communication skills to interact positively with others and enhance emotional well-being, personal identity, and self-worth.

Attitudes and Values

Developing a positive and responsible attitude towards their own well-being, displaying care and concern, and respecting the rights of others.

Teachers' Note

Teachers will need a copy of Taking Action: Life Skills in Health Education.