How Should I Act?

By Activity Bank on Sep 19, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Charlotte Cushman and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

When one can’t see how the people around them are behaving, it’s hard to model that behavior themselves. This activity teaches students to develop socially acceptable behavior and a sense of responsibility through role-playing. Lessons include English Language Arts, Social Skills, and Independent Living Skills.


None required. (Optional: make a set of situation cards in print, braille or tactile pictures.)


Describe a situation and ask the student to role-play how he would act in that situation. Discuss what might be appropriate and inappropriate ways to behave in different situations. Talk about how situations differ and why the same behavior might be acceptable in one situation but not in another. Situations to act out might include:

  • Meeting a new classmate for the first time
  • Greeting a close friend whom you have not seen for a long time
  • Family get-together
  • Buying something in a store
  • Asking a stranger for directions
  • Talking to someone at a party
  • Attending a sporting event
  • Ordering a meal at a restaurant
  • Funeral
  • Job interview


Split the class into teams. Have one team role-play a situation while the other team guesses what the situation might be. Let the students make up their own situations for others to guess.

Hint:  Reinforce appropriate behavior for students in different settings.