ACT for Youth

Relationship Skills

Social and Emotional Learning - Relationship SkillsSocial and Emotional Learning (SEL) enhances the ability to communicate and connect with a range of people in healthy ways. In this section of the SEL Toolkit, we link to strategies and resources that will help youth work professionals teach relationship skills.

Model and Promote Positive Communication Skills

Active Listening and Feedback

These handouts were designed to help youth work professionals model and explain positive communication skills.

PDFActive Listening

PDFPositive and Constructive Feedback

"I" Messages

The U.S. Department of State "Diplomacy in Action" site includes a helpful page describing the positive use of "I" messages.

WebWeb Page

Teaching Resources for Youth Educators - A Source Book

Created by Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development, this collection of teaching materials includes activities, games, exercises, handouts, and worksheets that deal with interpersonal communication skills, relationships, conflict resolution, and public speaking.


Communications Toolkit

Created by Michigan 4-H Youth Development, this toolkit provides activities to engage young people in creative expression and communication activities using different media.


Communication Skills

This Advocates for Youth lesson plan uses role plays to teach communication skills.

WebLesson Plan

Youth Engaged in Leadership and Learning

This manual from the John W. Gardner Center includes many exercises aimed at building communication and social skills.


Teach Social Skills

101 Ways to Teach Children Social Skills

This free book by Lawrence E. Shapiro includes strategies for teaching social skills to children, particularly those with social problems.


Use Group Learning Strategies

Collaborative Learning

This handout includes collaborative learning activities and tips.

PDFActivities and Tips

Jim Cain's Raccoon Circles

This collection of team-building activities is for both small and large groups. Many of the activities are intended to be done outdoors.


This is a database of free group games, icebreakers, and team-building activities.


Youth Adult Partnership Manual

This Innovation Center manual offers activities for youth and adults, both separately and jointly, in preparation for working together.


Teach Conflict Resolution Skills

Six Steps to Solving Problems

The Raising Children Network describes six steps for working with a young person in order to reach a solution together.

WebWeb Page

Consensus - Action Planning

This handout describes an inclusive process for group planning.

PDFPlanning Process

Out on a Limb: A Guide to Getting Along

Developed by University of Illinois Extension, this interactive site teaches children conflict resolution skills. A teachers' guide is included.



Assessing Peer Conflict and Aggressive Behavior

This Child Trends brief discusses peer conflict and aggressive behaviors, ways to reduce these behaviors, and assessment.

PDFResearch Brief

What Works for Promoting and Enhancing Positive Social Skills

This Child Trends literature review of 38 programs identifies practices that work, or do not work, to promote positive social skills.

PDFResearch Brief