Spider Web: Lifting Up People Who Provide Support is a 30-minute activity that serves as a metaphor for the support that people provide for each other. Participants stand in a circle with the facilitator. The facilitator gives the ball of yarn or string to one participant and asks them to name one person in their life that supports them and what that person does to support them. Then they throw it to another participant while holding onto the end of the yarn. The process continues until everyone has shared. When the yarn runs out, the facilitator asks participants to look at the web they’ve created and think about how people are connected to one another.
Planning and Preparation: is a 30-minute activity that can be done with 8-15 participants; if you have more, consider splitting into smaller groups. You’ll need a ball of yarn or string, a beach ball or balloon, and scissors. Works best in an open area with enough space to form a circle.
Developmental Relationship Element: Provide Support.
CASEL Competencies: listening, communication, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills.
Objective: Build and strengthen relationships among participants and between participants and leaders. Deepen understanding of Provide Support in Search Institute’s developmental relationships framework.
# of Participants
Task Group Size
More Activities to Build Strong Relationships in Your Classroom or Group
Activity where participants name people who have inspired them and work together to create an inspiration collage.
Activity where participants guide a blindfolded partner from one point to another, learning and demonstrating the importance of giving and receiving help.
Activity where participants collaborate to keep a balloon floating in the air to practice working together.
Related Resources on Relational Practices
Tool / Playbook
Reframing Family Engagement
A self-reflection tool from Search Institute outlining six shifts of emphasis that can energize how schools and organizations engage with families.
Developmental Relationships in Real Life
A video highlighting the effects of implementing Search Institute’s developmental relationships framework with five organizations working with young people.
Modeling Strong Relationships Among Staff Members
A video showing how organizations use the developmental relationships framework to model strong relationships with each other and with young people.