Enhancing relationships: Relationships across the lifespan

Tagged with:

  • Mental health
  • Relationships With Other People
  • Healthy Communities and Environments
  • Hauora
  • Health promotion
  • Attitudes and values
  • Years 5–8
  • Years 9–10

Relationships across the lifespan asks ākonga to examine the wider cultural, social and community factors that inform how we understand ourselves and other people by thinking critically about, and describing, their roles in a variety of relationships and friendships.

A sheet of paper labelled with age groups.

Understanding ourselves and getting on together — Activity collection

This resource is part of the Understanding ourselves and getting on together collection.

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Possible learning activities

  • Supply groups of two to three ākonga with a large sheet of paper and pens.
  • Each group divides their paper into six sections and labels them with the following age groups: 0–4 years, 6–12 years, 13–19 years, 20–40 years, 50–65 years, and 65+ years. 
  • For each age group, ākonga brainstorm as many different types of relationships as they think people of that age might have with others, such as with parents, friends, workmates, or pets. 
  • Identify the important features of friendships and relationships for each of these age groups, for example, nurturing, sharing secrets, aroha, company, or love. Describe the changes and pressures that can affect friendships and relationships, for example, changing schools.
  • Each group reports back a sample of their ideas. Try to establish an understanding with ākonga that, across our lifespan, we share similar needs but that the nature of these needs and who fulfills them in relationships will change. Discuss the pressures that can affect relationships, what support is available, and how we can all help meet the needs of more vulnerable groups, such as the very young and the elderly. 
  • Individually, ākonga identify qualities that they value in their friends. In small groups, ākonga share their ideas and each write a different quality on a separate slip of paper. These slips are shared out between group members. 
  • Ākonga take turns to place their card on a continuum labelled 'Very Important', 'Quite Important', and 'Not So Important', giving their reason for choosing that place. When it is their turn, other ākonga in the group can change the position of a card, explaining their reason for doing so. When the group has reached a consensus (or an agreement to disagree), all groups share their continuum with the whole class. After discussion, ākonga individually record those qualities that they most value in friends and reflect on any changes they have made as a result of this learning experience.

Cultural and diversity considerations

All ākonga are part of wider whānau, hapū, iwi, and other community groups. Culturally capable kaiako and tumuaki know, value and integrate the cultural capital of their ākonga into the work of creating positive classroom communities. Classroom programmes dealing with mental health should be sensitively developed so that they respect and reflect the diverse values and beliefs of ākonga and the whole school community.

Kaiako notes

Focus inquiry questions around the learning outcomes before and after the activities to support ākonga to reflect and think critically about the activities.