Social Role Play

UDL 3.1 UDL 3.4 UDL 5.3

Role-play is a type of social support that helps students learn how to interact in typical social situations. With role-play, the students take turns practicing what to do in certain situations, such as initiating a conversation, playing a game or asking for help. Sometimes, the teacher initially models the proper behavior for social interactions. Other times, the students may practice the social skills using a script.

Implementation Tips

Deeper Understanding
Role-playing oftentimes helps situations be more concrete for students who need more support with social interactions.
Opportunity for Application
It is important to have the students who are learning social interactions through role-play to have opportunities to interact in real situations soon after they practice.
Skill Development
Role-play in the classroom can be a very effective tool to teach empathy, increase language skills and support classroom etiquette.


Asking for a Reading Buddy
Each week during reading time, the students pair up with a different reading buddy to read a story together. Prior to the activity, the teacher models how to ask a student to be a reading buddy and then has the students pair up and role-play asking each other to be reading buddies.
Greeting Others
A 5th grade class spends a few minutes each morning greeting each other. Through role-play, a student practices with another student different ways he can greet another person (e.g. “say hello,” high five, handshake, etc) and when to use the different approaches.
Asking for a Book
A student who is learning how to find books in the school library practices asking for a book through role-playing with another student. During the role-play, the student uses a social script to help support the interaction. One person might play the part of librarian and the other will play the part of student.

Related Strategies