Friendship Group for New Students - Growing Friends Counseling Group


Elementary (2nd-5th)

Researched Based

ASCA & CASEL Aligned

Easy to Implement

Digital Download

This is a digital resource. You will receive instantly upon purchase.

Growing Friends is a five-week friendship group for new students. This group is designed to help new students feel welcome and make new friends. Students are often nervous when they first start a new school so including them in a small group is a fantastic idea. Not only will they make new friends as part of the small group but they will learn how to view their transition to the new school through the lens of a grown mindset.

The icebreaker activities are designed to be a fun and easy way for the group members to get to know one another and make friends. The activities dig deeper and have them self reflect.

The curriculum meets ASCA mindsets and behaviors standards and is designed to be low-prep.

Group Outline

Week 1: Introductions

Week 2: Growing Pains

Week 3: Support Systems

Week 4: Prickly Situations

Week 5: Goal Setting


 Group Rules: Suggested and DIY Group Rules poster so students can take ownership of the creation of the group rules and norms

 Feelings Check: Feelings Check Poster to serve as a visual aid for students to self-reflect on their emotional state at the start of each session

Self Reflection Journal: With writing prompts

Games & Activities: A wide variety of games and activities each week

Ice Breakers: Different activities designed to get conversation started

 Self-Assessments: Pre and post group self-assessments to track student growth and make data collection easy!

Ice Breakers Include:

  • Get to Know You BINGO
  • Sides of the Room
  • Charades
  • Beach Ball Toss
  • Two Facts and a Fib

Activities Include:

  • Interactive Friendship Worksheet
  • Friendship Discussion Cards
  • Flip Book
  • Card Game
  • Poster Craft


Each week students will learn skills they can use at home and school to help them better navigate social situations. The goal of this group is to help new students feel more comfortable and optimistic about their new school and their ability to make new friends.

At a minimum, being in this counseling group allows students to meet potential new friends, identify and share their feelings, develop self-esteem through participation, and practice empathy while hearing others’ experiences.


With easy to implement outlines and activities, this friendship curriculum is very low-prep. Simply print out each session before students arrive and keep them in a file folder. For tips on how to organize your small groups, check out this blog post I wrote. The self-assessments are a great way to get students to self-reflect on their progress and you can then share this information with teachers, parents, or in your program report.

Who is this Group Designed For?

“Growing Friends” is designed for small groups of students grades 4-7. It can also be modified to work for other grades and individual lessons.


⁕ Group Curriculum Bundle

Blooming Friendships

⁕ Goal Setting and Motivation Group

⁕ Stress Group

Visit Bright Futures School Counseling Blog and subscribe to my email list to gain access to my Small Group Cheat Sheet. You will also receive a weekly email with my latest school counseling tips, research, and freebies!

Follow me on social media to be the first to learn about sales and new resources!

School Counseling Simplified Podcast

Bright Futures Counseling INSTAGRAM

Bright Futures Counseling FACEBOOK

Access ALL of my counseling resources for just $29 per month!

For just $29 per month IMPACT members have access to every resource in this store, plus monthly professional development opportunities, and exclusive resources just for members!

Join 25,000+ other counselors and stay connected with my latest counseling research, resources, and updates!