CoverIntroductionWellbeing and Its Importance in SchoolsWhat models/frameworks exist to promote school wellbeing?What is the best approach for my school or district?Valuable Tools and ConsiderationYour Call to ActionStudent Wellbeing InterventionsPositive Emotion Three Good ThingsCounting BlessingsEnvisioning Your Best Possible SelfUnderstanding HumorThree Funny ThingsOutdoor LearningBringing the Outside InBibliotherapyEngagementRecognizing and Utilizing Personal StrengthsARCS Model of CuriosityCarousel BrainstormingGenius HourPerspective Taking and Role-PlayArts IntegrationDrawing and Coloring TherapyCulturally-Enriching and Arts-Based Field TripsCulturally Responsive PracticesSocial Belonging InterventionEmotional Self-Regulation: RULER methodModeling Emotional Self-Regulation SkillsTeacher PraiseRelationshipsModeling Love, Kindness and ForgivenessActive Constructive RespondingDialogue JournalsSecret Strengths SpottingPeer Praise NotesActs of KindnessVolunteeringFast FriendsBuddy BenchMeaningEducating Students about Benefit AppraisalsGratitude LettersSavoring StrategiesTaking in the Good (HEAL)Mental Time TravelBrief Mindfulness ActivitiesMindful BellMindful BreathingBody Scan RelaxationMindful Walking/MovementFive Senses MindfulnessMindful PhotographyMindful Self-CompassionAccomplishmentFuture Thinking & When/Where PlansHope MapG-POWER Goal SettingEmbedded Self-Regulation StrategiesGrowth MindsetGrit and Deliberate PracticeDeveloping Students' Resilience and Coping SkillsHealth and VitalityHealthy Sleep HabitsClassroom Physical ActivityYogaCreative Playground EquipmentHealthy Body Image InterventionStudent-Led Health ProgramSchool-Led Interventions for Teachers and StaffSupporting Teacher AutonomyMindfulness TrainingCompassion TrainingHumor TrainingIncentivizing Physical ExerciseIndividual Interventions for Administrators, Teachers and StaffPositive and Reflective JournalingSelf-Regulation and Coping StrategiesSelf-AffirmationSelf Compassion LetterDiscovering and Utilizing Character StrengthsJob CraftingMindfulnessAdditional Interventions to ConsiderDedicated Wellbeing SpacesIndividual Wellbeing Plans for School EmployeesOther ResourcesPROSPER

Fast Friends

Keywords: Elementary Education, High school, Middle School

Teaching students to have quality conversations with their peers can help them build strong, healthy relationships and increase their sense of belonging. For the fast-friend activity, students will be assigned a partner to befriend over the course of a month (Echols & Ivanich, 2021). During your fast-friend activity, provide students with a list of questions to guide them in their conversations with their peers. Here are a few sample questions used in the “fast-friend” activity that you may consider using with your students. Additional questions can be found by visiting the articles under the reference section below.

  1. What is your favorite subject in school?
  2. What is your favorite dessert or flavor of ice cream?
  3. What is/was your favorite pet? (If you’ve never had a pet, what pet would you choose if you could?)
  4. What’s your favorite thing to do during summer vacation?
  5. What is your favorite TV show or movie?
  6. Do you like to get up early or sleep in on the weekends?
  7. What foreign country would you most like to visit and why?
  8. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
  9. Describe your worst haircut ever.
  10. Describe your best friend (without saying his/her name).
  11. If you had to move from your school, what would you miss the most?
  12. If your house was on fire and you had time to safely grab one thing before running out, what would it be?
  13. If you could be famous for something, what would it be?
  14. Describe one quality you wish you had.
  15. What would a perfect day at school be like?
  16. What would you like to change about your life if you could?
  17. Name one thing that would make your parents/family proud of you and one thing that would make them disappointed in you.
  18. Name one thing you and I appear to have in common.
Grade Level: All
Materials: List of questions to promote conversation and relationship building. See recommended list above.
Duration: 30 minutes per month, or as needed.
Implementation:
  1. Assign students to a partner in the class. 
  2. Once a month, for 30 mins, have students practice asking and answering questions with their partner. This activity could also be practiced more frequently. 
  3. Change partners every few months.

Does it work?

Developing friendships with peers is a key part of improving student wellbeing, as it helps them have a greater sense of belonging. One study tested an intervention called “fast-friends” where students were given conversation skills training and assigned to become friends with an assigned partner in the class(Echols & Ivanich, 2021). The study observed 301 seventh and eighth grade students in a Midwestern middle school. Students were randomly assigned a same-gender partner, who they reported to have not known well. Students were also assigned a control partner. For 30 min., once a month, over the course of 3 months, students participated in relationship building activities with their fast-friends partners. The first two sessions, students took turns asking each other questions that became increasingly personal. In the last session, they participated in a team block tower activity, competing against other "fast-friend" partnerships. At the end of the sessions students reported that they knew their "fast-friends" better and considered them friends(Echols & Ivanich, 2021).

References:

Echols, L. & Ivanich, J. (2021). From "Fast Friends" to true friends: Can a contact intervention promote friendships in middle school. Journal of Research on Adolescence/Early Review. https://doi.org/10.1111/jora.12622

End-of-Chapter Survey

: How would you rate the overall quality of this chapter?
  1. Very Low Quality
  2. Low Quality
  3. Moderate Quality
  4. High Quality
  5. Very High Quality
Comments will be automatically submitted when you navigate away from the page.
Like this? Endorse it!