How to Improve Social Skills that Teens Need for Life!

Teens Need Good Social Skills.

Teens need good social skills. We all need good social skills, LOL! But it is our job to help prepare the teens we work with for going out into the world as independent adults. They need to be able to work in groups. It’s a life skill.

Many years of working in a special school taught me this. Students with low academics but good social skills are the ones who are able to leave the special schools. Students who don’t have good social skills are going to have problems in life no matter how high their academic scores are.

You surely have seen situations where students don’t function well in social situations with their peers. The ability to get along is made more difficualt when your students have autism, an emotionally disturbed label,  nonverbal language disorder, or lack higher-level language skills.

Do your teens ever tell you about disagreements they are having?

Tips and a free download for how to improve social skills teens need for life!

There are lots of reasons why disagreements can occur.

Think about this

  • Did the disagreement break out because one teen misunderstood the other?
  • Maybe one kid responded inappropriately because they misread nonverbal cues.
  • When students don’t understand the nonliteral language being used in a conversation, they can give off base responses.

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you? Social skills problems really impact how well our students work in groups. It canalso affect their friendships and their social interactions. And I know how hard it is to find appropriate level materials to address these needs because I searched and searched!

Now you can engage your students and improve language for real-life social skills!

Real-life scenario applications

Download this free, no prep social skills unit for teens to foster great discussions!

The free download, shown in these pictures, shows you what is included in each unit.

Try it out and see how engaged your teens can be!

Each unit has a common social scenario based around a photo that can be used for improving nonverbal communication skills: facial expressions, gestures, and body language.


The scenarios include figurative language, nonliteral language, and idioms.  You can work on improving higher-level language skills in your mixed groups. If your students need some extra comprehension help, don’t worry! The complete units also have a basic level scenario to start with.  It has  vocabulary that explains the idioms  to ensure that students understand the teen problem scene.

Download this free, no prep social skills unit for teens to foster great discussions!

Each scenario comes with discussion questions and an answer key to guide your discussion. So there is no prep involved. You can concentrate most on what each particular mixed group needs.  The packet lets you address both nonverbal language and nonliteral language while solving teen problems.

Use the follow-up worksheets for classwork or homework. What could be easier than that?

Each worksheet provides additional practice to follow up after your group discussions. Use the most appropriate for each student or use them all. The pictured worksheet gives more practice using idioms in context.

Be sure to download the free bonus pages, too. They give extra practice at a story comprehension level for your students that need it.


Practice summarizing the important story details and determining cause-effect relationships with this worksheet. Then use the information to start determining possible solutions.

Download this free, no prep social skills unit for teens to foster great discussions!


With the next worksheet, students explain the problem from the character’s perspective and offer two solutions. This helps students develop more flexible thinking in problem situations. Then they choose the best solution.

Download this free, no prep social skills unit for teens to foster great discussions!

Students justify, or explain and defend, each solution. Have your students tried to tell you about a problem situation? If they can’t explain why they did what they did, they could use this practice.

Perspective Taking

The ability to take another’s perspective is vital for social skills in everyday life.

Download this free, no prep social skills unit for teens to foster great discussions!

Make sure that your teens comprehended the group discussion and retained important details with this worksheet. They take the character’s perspective to fill in a thinking bubble. It is a great social skill for teens to explain how the other person is thinking about the problem. Students also define idioms and explain important details from the social skills scenario on this page.

Game cards

Games are a great way to reinforce skills. Your teens can practice what they learned and it doesn’t feel like work.

Download this free, no prep social skills unit for teens to foster great discussions!

The set has game cards for practicing the new nonliteral language from each scenario.

You can use these cards in matching activities orvwith your own board games. Or download the free printable board game. You will have access to this and more freebies when you join the ‘It Looks Like Language to Me!’ Facebook group.

There are so many higher language skills are covered in each scenario. That means your mixed groups will be a piece of cake. You’ll see how engaged your students are in these meaningful real-life scenarios. Then you will want more!

No worries!  There are lots more scenarios available.


Social Inferences 1:

  • A fight before a date
  • Forgetting something important
  • An argument at school
  • Cyber-bullying
  • Getting bad news over the phone

Social Inferences 2:

  • Sister problems
  • Being honest in a relationship
  • Teasing Trouble
  • Being left out
  • Getting bullied

Social Inferences 3:

  • Missing Your Best Friend
  • A Fight with Your Sister
  • Relationship Problems
  • Talking at the Movies
  • Disapprove of Peers

There’s a free bonus pages of the literal level of ‘A Friend Picks a Fight.’  Just head on over to join my FB group ‘It Looks Like Language to Me.’

Look for free downloads section once you join.


You might also enjoy...


  • I was more than happy to uncover this great site. I want to to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every bit of it and I have you book marked to see new information in your website.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I’m Linda, an SLP who loves helping you build effective communication skills for your students using strategies and visuals. Pictures are time consuming, so let me make your life easier!

Find it Fast

Let's Connect