Play-based Learning

Play-based Learning

Play-based learning aligns with the developmental-relational approach. Play is fundamental to a child’s complete development and learning. Play acknowledges that emotions and their expression play a key role in social emotional development.

Structure exists, but the focus is on play and socialization rather than academics. Lessons are carried out through play-based activities that are rooted in basic social skills like sharing, taking turns, self-control, making friends, following instructions and getting along with others.

Alberta’s Early Learning and Care Framework endorses play-based learning.



Why Mentoring?

  • Promotes social connectivity
  • Builds resilience
  • Builds social skills
  • Builds cross-grade connections
  • Builds community connections

Mentorship has shown to promote empathy, caring and connection in cross graded pairings,  develop leadership skills in older students, practice social skills for younger students.


  • Can be a partnership or run by the school.
  • Identify possible interest from mentors, screen & train mentors from older grades
  • Identify younger students 
  • Determine possible matches
  • Can be free play, fun structured activities or a combination.

Attendance sheet as high school students are eligible for 1 credit with every 25 hours of mentoring plus accompanying booklets:

  • HSS1050 – Introduction to Mentoring
  • HSS 2050 – Becoming a Mentor
  • HSS 3060 – Extending the Mentoring Relationship
  • HSS 3070 – Peer Mentoring

Alberta Mentors

Big Brothers & Sisters



The purpose is to use the attachment you have with a child to connect them with another adult or child. 

Depending on the need/age of your student(s) here are some examples…

  • Find similarities between you and the new person as well as similarities between the child and the new person
  • Speak about this person as your friend
  • Ensure that this is a safe person that you trust so they know they too can trust them.
Leadership Opportunities for Students

Leadership Opportunities for Students


To provide students with an opportunity to build confidence, communication skills, as well as social emotional skills.

To allow students to use their knowledge and creativity to make a positive impact on their school.

To increase healthy school interactions and culture.


This can happen in a variety of ways. Please check out the resources below. Only a few examples are provided below. Ideas should be adapted to make sense for individual classrooms and schools.

  1. A leadership club – students gather at recess, lunch or after school to initiate school activities, rallies, donation opportunities for the school, etc.
  2. Older classes meet with younger classes and participate in a reading buddies program.
  3. Students participate in the Leos Club (see resource below).
  4. Older grades plan a sports day for the entire school.
  5. Partner up a younger student in need of mentoring, with an older student and provide time and space for the two to interact in a safe environment – play games in the gym, paint together in the school, etc.

Supporting Resources

Leo’s Club

Me to We Club

Intergenerational Activities

Intergenerational Activities

Intergenerational activities are social vehicles that create purposeful and ongoing exchange of resources and learning among older and younger generations.

  • Identify interested students
  • Connect with community partner (senior homes, hospitals etc., elders, retired community members)
  • Pair 2 students per senior when going out to meet with them
  • Or.. match seniors with selected students based on purpose (reading, play based activities, part of special events)

-Ideas for topics:

  •     What school is like now
  •     Teaching one another a game
  •     Teach seniors technology
  •     Listen or play music
  •     Share experiences
  •     Seniors week
  •     Making cards, cooking
  •     Sing Christmas carols
  •     Take Christmas concert to long-term care