Home » Blog » General » Building Small Talk Skills: A Fundamental Step in Social-Emotional Learning

Post Image

Building Small Talk Skills: A Fundamental Step in Social-Emotional Learning

Building Small Talk Skills: A Fundamental Step in Social-Emotional Learning


Small talk is an essential skill that aids in cultivating social relationships and fostering a sense of community. By engaging in small talk, we acknowledge the presence of others and show our interest in their wellbeing. This simple yet profound communication act is often overlooked but is integral to effective Social-Emotional Learning (SEL).

No-Prep Activity

Let’s do an exercise called “Catch and Release”. In this spontaneous activity, students are paired up and encouraged to have a brief exchange of small talk, focusing on common areas such as weather, recent events, or their day. No materials or extensive preparations are needed. Just let the students catch a topic and release their thoughts. After a few minutes, you can randomly switch partners, ensuring each student gets the opportunity to interact with different peers.

Discussion Questions

  • Why do you think small talk is important?
  • Can you share an instance where small talk made you feel included or excluded?
  • How can small talk help in understanding others’ emotions or situations?
  • What challenges have you faced while making small talk and how did you overcome them?

Related Skills

Building on small talk, students can further develop skills such as active listening, empathy, interpersonal communication, and the ability to perceive and respect others’ emotions. These skills not only enhance their social interactions but also contribute significantly to their Social-Emotional Learning journey.

Next Steps

The ability to make small talk is a key element of social connectivity, and the journey to achieving it can be an enjoyable and rewarding one. We encourage you to explore more about this and many other critical social-emotional skills. Sign up now to receive free samples and resources to further enrich your students’ SEL journey.


Post Image

Related Blog Posts:

Free Elementary Play Skills Lesson

The playground is more than just a place for physical activity; it's a social hub where important life lessons unfold. For special educators, teaching students to include everyone on the playground is vital in fostering an environment of empathy and respect. Keep...

Free Elementary Perspective Taking Goal Poster

Download Activity and Lesson Plan In need of a resource for teaching perspective-taking to your elementary students? Look no further, download our free elementary perspective-taking goal poster! Teaching Perspective Taking to Elementary Students You can successfully...

Free Elementary Handling Change Lesson

Navigating the emotional waves of the classroom is a daily reality for elementary students. As special educators, teaching them how to self-regulate using tools like Everyday Speech's "Self-Controller Scanner" can be game-changing. Keep reading for a free elementary...


Better doesn’t have to be harder!

Social Skills Lessons Students Actually Enjoy!

Be the best educator you can be with no extra prep time needed. Sign up to get access to free samples from the best Social Skills and Social-Emotional educational platform.