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Fundamentals Lesson 9: Mentorship and Relationship Building

Beginning of Class Routine

Setting the Stage: Play culturally relevant instrumental music as the students enter class.

Lead the students in a midline crossing activity. Use Educational Kinesiology document to find useful resources.

45-50 minute lesson


Students will:

  • develop understanding of social interdependence (Self-Awareness)
  • explore the impacts of perspective-taking and empathy (Social Awareness)
  • develop the ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships (Relationship Skills)
  • recognize one’s ethical responsibility to treat others fairly and with respect (Responsible Decision-Making)
  • Compare and contrast effective mentorship programs


21st Century Competencies Skills for Learning & Life
Critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity, social skills, leadership, productivity, initiative, flexibility Social Awareness, Self-Awareness, Responsible Decision-Making, Self-Management


Building The LIA Classroom Community (10-15 minutes)
Go over the objectives of this lesson.

Community Building Activity:


Reflection: (Reflection Model, Rolfe, 2001)

  • Use an inclusive and equitable grouping strategy to divide the class into groups of three. Strategy Grouping Example–Partner high-skilled students with mid-level skilled students and/or partner mid-level skilled students with lower-skilled students.
  • Remind students of the class Shared Agreements, that everyone gets equal time, empathic listening, and valuing diverse opinions and perspectives.
  • Use a Round Robin strategy to allow them to share the first word and explain its meaning to them and give one example of when they may have practiced this characteristic or that may describe their experience with a mentor.
  • Share out a few examples with the class.


Initiate a brief discussion using the questions below.

What? What were your thoughts and feelings as you participated in this activity? (Self-Awareness)

So What? Why do you think it’s important to explore characteristics of an effective mentor? (Social Awareness)

Now What? What will you do with what you learned about the characteristics of an effective mentor? (Responsible Decision Making)

Virtual Adaptation: Design Google Docs with the list of the characteristics of a mentor and post the link to the list so that all of the students have access to it. Have students work on their list of four characteristics. Assign students to breakout rooms of three. The teacher reminds students in each breakout room to give each other equal time to share. After the designated time, bring all students back to the main meeting room and post the Google Doc for all to see and share out examples.


  • Explain that our main goal with our reading tutoring is to build relationships and provide mentorship to young students. We know that students do better when they have at least one role model or person to share things with in their lives. LIA tutors are the role models the elementary school students need, and we hope that our work with them throughout the year allows them to see Latinos as leaders, and inspire them to also want to lead, and to read, as they grow up. But in order for us to have effective reading gains, we have to build a relationship first.
Activities to foster student engagement. (click link for resource)


Purpose: To explore characteristics of mentoring in order to provide support, advice, friendship, reinforcement and constructive role-modeling to mentees. This activity will help students understand the concept of mentoring and its positive impact on the elementary students involved.

Skills for Learning & Life Focus: This mentoring activity will further enhance students’ Self-Awareness, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision-Making skills.


  • Watch the following video (6:50 minutes):
    • CNN Heroes: David Flink
    • Ask the students the following: What are learning differences?
    • Facilitate a discussion with the students. Point out that many learning can be more difficult for students that have dyslexia and ADHD. Explain dyslexia and ADHD.
    • Ask the students to write down at least one quote while they are watching that they can identify with.
  • Partner Discussion.
  • Students will share with a partner which quote they wrote down and why that quote is meaningful to them.

Guided Practice

Distribute HO CNN Heroes: David Flink Reflection Questions.  Ask students to reflect on what they learned from the CNN Heroes: David Flink video and how they can relate it back to LIA tutoring. Have students unpack the following quotes from the video and answer the following discussion questions in small groups:

  1. “I didn’t know that I had dyslexia. I didn’t know I had ADHD. I could be the dumb kid, or I could be the bad kid. I just started acting out.”
  • Why do you think he started acting out and displaying disruptive behaviors?
  • How can an LIA mentor help a student that identifies as “dumb” or “bad”?
  1. “When Jim the Janitor just stopped to talk to me it was probably the most human experience I can remember at that point in my life.”
  • What do you think he means when he says “the most human experience”?
  • What can you do to create meaningful human experiences with your tutee/mentee?
  1. “Eye to Eye provides a safe space that’s constructed around what’s right with kids.”
  • What are some things you can do to help your tutee/mentee feel safe and comfortable?
  1. “Learning differences manifest in different ways.”
  • What are some different ways your tutee/mentee may behave because of their difficulties with learning?
  1. “They taught me to never hesitate, to always ask if you need help, don’t be scared . . . “
  • Name THREE things you have learned from someone that helped you be a better student.
  • What do you hope to teach your tutee/mentee?
  1. “People’s hearts sing when they are seen. And our mentors are just so good at seeing their kids.”
  • As an LIA  tutor/mentor, what can you do to make sure you are “seeing” your tutor/tutee?
  1. “This is what we need in America. We have to love each other across our differences.”
  • Discuss in your group what you think this quote means.
  1. Use ONE word to describe how you feel about becoming an LIA tutor/mentor to an elementary student.

How are Latinos In Action and the Eye to Eye mentoring program similar?



Emphasize the following: 

  • The number one goal as mentors/reading tutors is building positive relationships with our mentees/tutees.
  • Have each student share their one word response to the last question, “Use one word to explain how you feel about becoming a mentor for a young child,” with the entire class to gain excitement and momentum for tutoring.

Journal Entry Questions: Teacher or students may choose 1-2 questions below. 

  • What can you do to create meaningful human experiences with your tutee/mentee?
  • Name THREE things you have learned from someone that helped you be a better student. Explain how those things help you be a better student.
  • What do you hope to teach your tutee/mentee?
  • How are Latinos In Action and the Eye to Eye mentoring program similar?

Online Class Assessment Options:

  • Exit Ticket. Create a discussion assignment in your Learning Management System (LMS). Students respond to this question:Have each student share their one word response to the last question, “Use one word to explain how you feel about becoming a mentor for a young child,” with the entire class to gain excitement and momentum for tutoring.


Adaptation/Extension Activity

  • Students can find a fun “getting-to-know-you” activity online and print/copy them for the class for the first day of tutoring so that students can begin the relationship building on the first day, and help elementary school tutees to become comfortable with LIA tutors.
  • Students can set goals for reading tutoring this school year. Examples:
    • We want to see at least one reading level gain in each of our elementary school students.
    • We want to teach the student 10 new vocabulary words a week.
    • We want to get books donated to distribute for the Holidays.
    • We want to fundraise so that we can buy our tutees LIA reading shirts.

Adaptation for Virtual Tutoring

  • There are still plenty of unknowns about the impact of school closures during the pandemic and the effect it would have on schools in the long term. Many schools have implemented in-person, virtual, and hybrid instructional models that involve daily synchronous instruction. For this reason, it is important to establish and maintain a virtual tutoring model that can present content in multiple ways to help students retain information and address the need to reinforce vocabulary development, reading comprehension, and background knowledge. The benefits of using digital media resources in virtual tutoring provide students a multisensory experience while introducing new concepts and ideas remotely. 
  • To begin a virtual tutoring model, the LIA class and the elementary school must utilize a common virtual learning platform with a built-in video conferencing tool to deliver instruction. Some examples of virtual platforms include Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, BigBlueButton on Canvas, Google Classroom, Schoology, etc. Once you decide on a platform, you and the elementary school teacher will need to familiarize yourselves with the ins and outs of this platform. If you need additional assistance, contact your school or district IT staff for support. 
  • It is also important for students to have one-to-one devices. Once the virtual platform is established, all tutors and tutees will either join one shared virtual classroom, or individual virtual spaces, with a code or link. 
  • The LIA and elementary school teachers manage and maintain shared folders and provide materials for the tutors and tutees to use during the online tutoring sessions.
  • The LIA students and the elementary students will use a video-chatting tool through the chosen tutoring platform to provide live instruction during the tutoring session. Virtual tutoring sessions must be monitored and maintained, by at least one of the teachers.
  • If your chosen platform includes a breakout room option, it is imperative that you take time to familiarize yourself with how to utilize this tool. The following resources will provide you with a brief introduction of how breakout rooms work on the following platforms:
  • The teachers create online breakout rooms by dividing the students into pairings or groupings. All breakout rooms are listed on a hyperlinked document in the virtual classroom for students to find. Use 13.01 LIA Virtual Tutoring Breakout Room Sample Sheet as a reference point. The functionality and practicality of online breakout rooms work similarly to physical groups in offline settings. In addition, breakout rooms offer online classroom tools, such as a virtual whiteboard to jot down notes and the ability for students to interact and speak to each other. Teachers can walk around to observe in-person tutoring sessions or virtually monitor remote students. It is recommended that an additional breakout room is created to serve as a virtual “help desk.” The teacher should monitor this breakout room for any concerns or questions that students may have while tutoring remotely.