Reading the Room

Whether entering a house, classroom, meeting, or party, we must enter situations by acting in a way that’s congruent with the demeanor of the group. Learners will begin to take note of the group’s behavior so that they can align with the group as they smoothly enter.

Sample Video:

Read the Room - Changing Behavior

EXTENSION LESSON – When we Read the Room, we look at what’s happening, to try to figure out how we should act. We stop, think about the situation, and try to observe what is going on. In this Activity, we’ll watch 3 students Read the Room to try and figure out if they should change their behavior.

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Narrator: Welcome to Read the room. In this game, we take a look at a situation and help the characters figure out how to act. Reading the room is a tool to help us know what to do in different situations. We can change our behavior based on where we are and what’s happening.


When we read the room, we pause to:(1) Think about the situation and how you usually act in that situation; (2) Look at everyone in the room; (3) Think about what they are doing and what they have; (4) Make a plan based on what you see. 


Sometimes we want to do something, but when we read the room we decide that we should change our behavior based on how everyone else is acting. Reading the room helps us figure out if our behavior is right for the situation. 


In each scene, we’ll decide how each character should act based on what’s happening in the room. Anytime we see this icon in the corner, we can stop and discuss what’s happening. Let’s get started. 


Let’s watch Madison read the room to figure out if it’s a good time to play a game and who she can ask to play.


Madison: I really want to play Heads Up! I wonder if anyone wants to play. First, I’ll think about what’s happening right now. We have some free time so we can pick what we want to do. It would be a good time to play a game. Next, I’ll look around to see what everyone is doing. I can find someone to play with. Jack looks like he’s studying his vocabulary words. Connor and Haley are quizzing each other. 


Narrator: Who do you think is the best fit to play a game with?


Madison: Now that I’ve looked around the room, I know what everyone is doing. Everyone is using their free time to study for tomorrow’s vocabulary quiz. Jack was studying at his desk, and Connor and Haley were quizzing each other. Since everyone is studying, it doesn’t seem like a good time to play a noisy game. That would distract others and make it hard for them to study. I could look over my vocabulary words too.


Narrator: Madison looked around the room to observe everyone’s behavior. She realized that even though it was free time, it wasn’t a great time to play a loud game. If Madison didn’t read the room and started to play or asked others to play with her, she would have been loud and distracting. After she read the room, she was able to make the best choice based on what was happening in the room in this situation.


Let’s watch Justin when he wants to tell Zach a joke.


Justin: (internal thought) I forgot to tell Zach this funny joke I heard earlier. I want to tell him now!


Teacher: Okay, guys, we are running late. So I need everyone to take a seat and we can get started.


Justin: (internal thought) What’s happening right now? I thought I had a second to tell him, but now the teacher is telling us to sit down. Do I have time? I really wanted to tell Zach the joke, but everyone is getting ready. 


Narrator: What should Justin do? Should he tell Zach the joke? Let’s see what he picks.


Justin: (internal thought) Now wouldn’t be a good time to tell a joke because the teacher asked us to get ready and everyone should be listening to the lesson.


Teacher: Let’s open up our books to where we left off in Chapter 4.


Narrator: Justin was able to read the room and decide that he shouldn’t tell Zach the joke right now. He really wanted to tell him, but the situation changed when the teacher told the class they were running late and had to get started. If Justin had told the joke, he would have interrupted the teacher. After he read the room, Justin knew he should save the joke for another time.


Let’s watch Zach read the room and decide what to talk about based on what’s happening.


Zach: (internal thought) I know Justin was going to ask Erika to the Spring dance. I wonder if he’s done it yet. I want to find out. It is free time so we’re allowed to talk for a little bit. Rachel and Leah are friends with Erika and they’re walking over here. 


Narrator: What should Zach do? Should he talk to Justin about the school dance? Let’s see what he picks.


Zach: (internal thought) Now definitely wouldn’t be a good time to ask Justin about the school dance because Rachel and Leah might hear. That’s information that Justin would want to keep private.


Leah: Hey, what are you up to?


Zach: We’re just getting a head start on the homework.


Leah: Um, we wanted to talk about the Science project if you have a second.


Zach: Sure!


Narrator: Zach read the room and decided not to talk about the school dance with Justin when the girls walked over. He knew it wasn’t the right time to talk about something that should be kept private. It’s important to think about the situation and figure out the best time for different topics. That way, we won’t embarrass or upset anyone. After he read the room, Zach decided not to talk about Justin’s secret. 


Observing others is a very helpful tool. All of our characters read the room before making their choices on how to act. That way, their actions didn’t make anyone feel upset, annoyed or embarrassed. We watched Madison make sure not to play a game while others are studying, Justin wait for a better time to tell a joke, and Zach think about who’s around before talking about his friend’s private information. 


Each character made sure to: (1) Think about the situation and how people usually act in that situation; (2) Look at everyone in the room; (3) Think about what they’re doing and what they have; (4) Make a plan based on what they see. 


Our days are made up of many constantly changing situations. If we read the room before we act, we will know how to adapt our behavior to fit each one. That way, others will have positive thoughts and feelings about us.


Companion Worksheet:

Every video comes with a companion worksheet for students to review what they just learned. This helps assess comprehension and promote generalization by reinforcing the concepts covered in the video.

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