Let’s face it working on social skills is tough. We are trying to help our students understand and learn these abstract and ever changing concepts. One of the toughest areas to work on with students is conversational skills. This is where friend fact files come in handy!
Usually our students struggle with sharing the conversation and asking questions. Sometimes realizing the they can’t dominate the conversation and have to engaged with others can be a bit of a shock.
Friend fact files can help students learn how to ask their conversational partners meaningful, more personal questions. I have found my kids struggled a lot because they just didn’t know what to ask, or why they should, so they either avoided it all together or sounded like they were playing ‘Guess Who?’, “Does your little brother have curly hair?”, “Does your little brother have glasses?”
So what is a Friend Fact File? It is an index card that students write about their family on one side and personal interests on the other. The cards sit in front of the students as they sit around table. Each student takes a turn asking the others a question about the information on their cards, using them as a reference as a time goes on.
So for example, say Johnny puts that he plays baseball on his card. Juan sees it and knows he can ask Johnny about it. Probably starting with, “What team are you on?”, but then ( with your guidance and help ) learns to ask meaningful questions such as “How did your baseball game go?” or “Do you think you will play again next year?”.
This helps students understand how they can talk to others about more than those basic, “Do you have any brothers or sisters?” type of questions and expand on those topics as time goes on.