Building respectful relationships

Year level: 4


Students identify the social skills needed to develop respectful and positive relationships. They practise cooperating and collaborating with peers using specific social skills relating to respect, empathy and valuing differences.

Learning focus

Students identify the social skills needed to develop respectful and positive relationships. They develop games or activities that foster positive social skills and practise these skills by playing the games/activities.  

Key understandings

  • Positive social skills lead to respectful, positive relationships.

  • Positive social skills include being a good listener; sharing information about yourself; being a good winner and loser; being interesting; cooperating and being flexible; being understanding and supportive.

  • Positive social skills can be categorised into those that show respect, empathy and value differences.

  • Getting along with others gives us a feeling of belonging and satisfaction. 


  • Teaching Resource: Getting along with others [for interactive whiteboard]
  • Student Activity Sheet: What turns you off? [one set per group]

  • Student Activity Sheet: My 'getting on with others' quiz [one per student]

General capabilities

No General Capabilities values have been selected.

Health and physical education(P)

Personal, social and community health

This strand will develop students' knowledge, understanding and skills to support a positive sense of self, to effectively respond to life events and transitions and to engage in their learning. Effective communication, decision-making and goal-setting skills are integral to this strand as they help to establish and maintain relationships in family, school, peer group and community settings, support healthy and safer behaviours, and enable advocacy. Students will source and examine a range of health information, products, services and policies, and evaluate their impact on individual and community health and safety.

Relationships and sexuality

Blooms revised taxonomy

No Blooms values have been selected.

Inquiry learning phase

No Inquiry Learning phase values have been selected.

Related items

Teaching resource (download)

Before you get started

Learning activities

Whole Class

Students examine social skills and categorise them into skills that show respect, empathy or value differences.

  1. Ask:

    • How do we feel when our friendships have problems? (sad, nervous, rejected)

    • What kinds of problems can friendships have? (misunderstandings, arguments, jealousies, growing apart – stress that all friendships have problems sometimes but these problems can usually be sorted out. Some friendships are only temporary however this doesn’t mean that one of you has done something wrong or that you are not likeable)

    • Brainstorm: What are some of the skills we use to get along with our friends and others? (social skills that lead to good relationships such as being positive; being a good listener; finding things in common; being a good winner and loser; being interesting; cooperating and being flexible. Other social skills are being understanding and supportive; sharing information about yourself; showing empathy and being loyal)

    • Are you born with these skills? (No, you have to learn and practise them. If you get on well with others, you have a sense of belonging and satisfaction. Practising these skills while you are young, will help you get along with people better when you are an adult)

    • Do we use fewer 'getting along with people' skills with our brother/sister or mum/dad? Why?

    • What is respect?

    • What is empathy?

    • How can someone show that they value differences in others?

  1. Show Teaching Resource: Getting along with others and read through with class. As a class, categorise each of these skills into one or more of the categories of Respect, Empathy and Valuing Differences by labelling them with the letter R, E or VD respectively on the whiteboard.

  2. In small groups, students consider Student Activity Sheet: What turns you off? which looks at ‘turn offs’ that make it harder to respond to someone in a positive way, even though he/she is probably a nice person. They must decide, as a group, on four more ‘turn offs’ to add to this list and then rank the top five ‘turn offs’ and discuss as a class. Write common rankings on the whiteboard.

    • As a class, categorise the common rankings as a lack of skills into one or more of these categories: Lack of Respect, Lack of Empathy or Not Valuing Differences by labelling them with the letters LR, LE or NVD respectively on the whiteboard.

Independent or Small Group

Students examine their own social skills and identify the social skills that they could practise. In groups, they develop games/activities that give students the opportunity to practise one of the positive social skills. 

  1. Students complete Student Activity Sheet: My 'getting on with others' quiz. They write how they could improve any of the skills that need practise (or that they only use sometimes).

    • Students share this with a partner and the partner acts as a ‘coach’ and suggests other ways they could practise this skill.

  1. In small groups, students choose one of the following ‘getting along with people’ skills and design a game or activity that the class could play to practise this skill over the next few weeks:

    • Starting a conversation

    • Staying cool and respectful in an argument

    • Being positive

    • Telling a story in an interesting way

    • Giving an honest but respectful opinion

    • Cooperating well

    • Being an empathetic listener

    • Being an empathetic loser


Students reflect on how they will practise the social skill they identified and how they will know when they have improved or need further help.

Students complete the following unfinished sentences:

  • The ‘getting along with others’ skill I would like to practise is…..

  • Three ways I could practise this skill would be:…

  • I could ask… help me practise this skill.

  • I will know if I have got better at this skill by…..

  • I will know I still need a bit more effort on this skill by….