Social Skills for Handling Cliques

Is your child or student feeling excluded by a clique of their peers? Help your students understand what cliques are, how they form, and prepare them with the social skills to know what to do if they’re feeling targeted or socially isolated by a clique. 

In our social skills learning module you have access to a presentation about cliques along with homework assignments, activities, and other resources. 

In the presentation, learn five ways your student or child can handle cliques. 

  1. Find other friends: if you are feeling left out by a group of peers, make friends with another peer in your school or outside of school. Be kind to peers who may look or act differently than you do to create a welcoming environment for everyone.
  1. Speak up: if you are in a group that becomes cliquey, speak up and encourage them to be open to other friends. They may leave you out or they may stop acting that way and be more welcoming. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking up to your peers, talk to a family member, friend, or trusted adult like a school counselor for advice. 
  1. Invite a friend: invite someone from the clique to do something with you outside of school. They may turn you down, or they may join you and realize that it’s silly not to be your friend. 
  1. Don’t take it out on yourself: it’s not your fault if other kids choose to treat you poorly, so don’t let it affect the kind of person you are. You have control over how kind and welcoming you are to others! 
  1. Look for friendship everywhere: do your best to be friendly and open to everyone so others don’t feel left out. Look for chances to welcome others into your activities and help them feel included. 

Teach your students these five actions they can take when handling cliquey behavior from their peers. Be sure to reinforce that they can always talk to a trusted adult about how they are feeling! 

The special education resources on this page were authored by Watson Institute’s special education consultant, Andee Morris, M.Ed.

Power Point Presentations

I Can Handle Cliques Facilitator’s Guide

I Can Handle Cliques Power Point Presentation

Resource Materials

I Can Handle Cliques Homework

I Can Handle Cliques Magnet Cards

I Can Handle Cliques Mini Schedule

I Can Handle Cliques Outline

I Can Handle Cliques Parent Note

I Can Handle Cliques Teacher Note

Feeling Left Out Activity

Pre/Post Assessment

A pre and post lesson assessment is included in each lesson. Use of the assessment is an instructor preference.  Many of the ‘homework’ pages for a lesson can be used as a pre/post assessment device alone or as part of the provided assessment.  Each homework page can be checked by the instructor as well as the student.

Review all included pages of the lesson to determine what ‘assessment’ method will meet your needs.  If the student is able to achieve a + in the majority of items of the pre-assessment, or if the student has been observed to display the skill topic of the lesson often, then the lesson may not be introduced or can be taught with a group as review and/or reinforcement.

I Can Handle Cliques Pre/Post Assessment

If you have questions or concerns about the Watson Institute’s use of this information, please contact us.