School Store Social Skills

  • Situation

    The students in my Life Skills class need more practice with social skills, but they always seem to clam up in those unstructured times like lunch and in between classes.  Is there something I can do to help them have more opportunities to interact?

  • Summary

    The School Store Social Skills strategy provides a structured format for students to follow within a familiar setting.

  • Definition

    Some students benefit from a “scripted” format to follow when interacting with their classmates, at least until more spontaneous social skills are established.  Providing a format for them to follow (script) within a familiar setting (the class “store”) can help students feel more comfortable when interacting with their peers.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 11-13, 14-17
    • Planning Effort: Moderate
    • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Pre-requisites

    • ability to follow visual script

    • dollar store school supply purchases

    • small business cash register or cash box with calculator

    • administrative permission to sell approved items on school property

    • large display cart on wheels

    • basic money skills

  • Process

    1. Purchase a variety of inexpensive school supplies from dollar stores and discounted school products (i.e. notebooks, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, highlighters, keychains, lanyards, pencil cases, etc.)

    2. Meet with students to decide appropriate prices for each category of item.  (Price these items reasonably so that students can afford them BUT make sure your class members will still make a small profit.)  Research current store ads and internet prices for suggested price ranges.

    3. Have the students create colorful signs advertising the items for sale and where and when they can be purchased.  (i.e. your room number, in between classes, cafeteria.)

    4. Make simple visual scripts for the students to follow when talking with a potential customer.  Simple greetings like “Hi” and questions like “Can I help you?” can go a long way in encouraging customers to shop at your store more often.

    5. Teach these scripts to your students and practice role-playing with you and other students as customers.  Prompt students when necessary with the visual scripts until they’re able to interact with customers more independently.

    6. You’ll also need to teach them how to handle money (i.e. take customers’ payments, ring them up, make change).

    7. Finally, make sure they thank their customers with a smile to encourage repeat business!

  • Documents and Related Resources



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