Activity: Highs and Lows

In the ebb and flow of life, there are moments that lift us up and moments that bring us down. Our ‘Highs and Lows’ exercise is here to remind students that it’s perfectly okay to experience both the ups and downs. 

Life is a mix of positive and negative, and it’s in these contrasts that we find our growth. Join us in this insightful journey to explore the shades of life and build connections in our circle of chairs.

The Goal

The purpose of this exercise is to remind students that all of life contains both positives and negatives; life is never “all good” or “all bad.” This exercise is a good icebreaker for the first few sessions, when students are still getting a feel for the group.

RAMP (ASCA) Mindset & Behaviors addressed and developed:

Presenting; Concepts Comprehension.
Communication; Listening; Presenting; Empathy; Collaboration/Cooperation; Teamwork.
Social/Emotional: Whole Self; Self Confidence; Sense of Belonging; Positive Attitude; Self Discipline/Control; Coping Skills; Supportive Relationships; Empathy; Self Advocacy; Social Maturity.


  • Circle of chairs
  • Indigo Reports
Facilitator should do all suggested exercises first to show the “safety” of the group


Have the students sit in a circle. Each student takes a turn sharing one low from their week (something that made them sad, frustrated, or angry) and one high (something good that happened). Try to limit each person’s turn to one minute each.

An Example: “One low from my week was when I received a poor grade on my math test. One high from my week was when I went to the movies with my friends.”

You can use pages on the Indigo Report such as the Communication Do’s and Don’ts to highlight examples of high and low points during interactions or help them brainstorm. You can also use a hacky sack or soft object that students to throw to the next participant.

Note: Some of our SEL facilitators do a quick round of Highs and Lows before each session.

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