Subject: SEL (Social-Emotional Learning)

Lesson Length: 45 mins

Topic: Relationship Skills

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Set your students up for life in and out of school by teaching them about healthy vs. unhealthy relationships.

Know Before You Start: This lesson works well as part of an overall unit on social emotional skills and relationship building.

Hook: Read and discuss the sample comic.

  • What makes this interaction healthy?
  • What would be an unhealthy response to Mrs. Bigg’s friend’s request? 
  • Discuss the things that make a friendship or school relationship healthy, and what makes them unhealthy. Focus on respect and compromise.


  • Have students create a minimum three-panel comic showing their understanding of healthy vs. unhealthy relationships.

  • The comic should include an interaction between two people and a conflict.

  • The comic may show a healthy or unhealthy interaction. If the interaction is unhealthy, a caption must explain why the interaction is unhealthy.

  • Remind students to consider the following as they create their comic:

    • How do we demonstrate respect?

    • How do we compromise to make decisions? 

    • How do we respect each others' boundaries?


  • Read the comics aloud to the class reinforcing what was healthy or unhealthy about the interactions shown. 

  • Display the comics on a bulletin board or online.


  • Students can work independently, in groups, or with a partner.

  • Allow students to use speech-to-text feature as needed.

  • Provide printout of the sample comic for student reference.


  • Comic to print or display: Comic.

Suggested Story Starters: