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No-Prep Activity

The Two Sides Game: A tool for fostering respectful communication among students

The Two Sides Game: A tool for fostering respectful communication among students

The Two Sides Game: A tool for fostering respectful communication among students


The practice of effective and respectful communication forms an integral part of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL), the process of developing the ability to understand and manage emotions, set goals, show empathy for others, establish relationships, and make responsible decisions. SEL can be best taught to students by involving them in interactive and engaging activities. One such activity that can immensely contribute to SEL is the Two Sides Game, where students compare how people act in different situations and understand whether it’s best to voice their thoughts or hold them back. This intriguing activity can help students develop the skill of Using A Filter, a crucial component of responsible communication.

No-Prep Activity: The Two Sides Game

The Two Sides Game is a simple and intuitive activity that requires no prior preparation or materials from the educator. This game is structured around identifying situations where it’s best to either ‘Think It’ or ‘Say It’. The idea is to promote respect for others’ feelings and sensitivity towards their reactions, without jeopardizing honesty or authenticity in communication. When we ‘Think It’, we practice restraint and filter out thoughts that could potentially hurt others or be better left unsaid. When we ‘Say It’, we articulate thoughts that are positive, constructive, and likely to be received well by others.

To conduct the Two Sides Game, educators can present students with a variety of hypothetical situations where the characters interact and express thoughts. After each situation, a pause for discussion encourages students to consider and voice their opinions about whether a character should have ‘Thought It’ or ‘Said It’. This interactive format allows students to experience firsthand the impact of their words and the value of thoughtful communication.

Discussion Questions

  1. Can you think of a time when you chose to ‘Think It’ rather than ‘Say It’? How did that decision affect the situation?
  2. Why is it sometimes better to ‘Think It’ rather than ‘Say It’? Can you share an example?
  3. In what situations do you feel it is most important to ‘Say It’?
  4. How does understanding others’ feelings influence your decision to ‘Think It’ or ‘Say It’?
  5. How can the skill of ‘Using A Filter’ help in building stronger and more respectful relationships?

Related Skills

In addition to ‘Using A Filter’, several other skills can complement and enrich the learning from the Two Sides Game. Empathy, active listening, and positive reinforcement are some notable ones. Empathy allows students to understand and respect others’ feelings, active listening promotes comprehension and acknowledgment of others’ perspectives, and positive reinforcement encourages constructive behavior by recognizing and appreciating it.

Next Steps

If you’ve found the Two Sides Game and the skills it enhances interesting and valuable, we encourage you to explore more about SEL. We invite you to sign up for free samples of this skill and other relevant skills on our platform. With a wide range of activities and resources at your disposal, the journey towards fostering a more respectful and empathetic school environment has never been easier. Get started by visiting everydayspeech.com/sample-materials/ today.

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