Lesson SS- Mentor Assignment Mentee Training

Lesson – Assigning Mentors/Mentee Training


1. Build a Mentor

A 20-minute group activity



This activity can be done with mentees who are preparing to be matched. It is designed to give them a chance to reflect on what they need and want in a mentor.


Break into small groups of 5 or fewer.


Tape a large sheet of butcher paper and tape it to the wall—one for each group. Have one group member stand against the paper and have the others trace his/her outline.


Ask group members to take turns adding features to the mentor that represent what they hope for their mentor to be like. For example, one might draw a big smile for friendliness, or a big heart for havinga loving spirit. Maybe a bag of tricks with lots of fun activities to do. Or large ears to represent a good listener. Allow group members several turns each.


After groups have created their ideal mentors, have them discuss as a group the qualities they have identified.

Which ones are “musts” and which are preferences?

How will mentees feel if their mentor does not possess certain qualities?

What are the reasons for their expectations?

Are these reasons “reasonable”?


Materials: person-size sheets of butcher paper, crayons, tape




What I want from the relationship with my mentor

A 20-minute group activity



Break into groups of five. On each table is a stack of magazines, scissors, and letter size envelopes. For the next few minutes you will be creating a collage with the theme: “What I hope to get out of the relationship with my mentor.”


INDIVIDUALLY: Go through the magazines and tear or cut out at least five pictures that somehow describe what you would like to get out of the relationship, and do so without letting the other group members see what you chose. Fold and put them into your envelope. Then tuck in the flap of the envelope.


AS A GROUP: Have one person in the group collect them, mix them up, and distribute them, one person for each envelope (if you get your own envelope, don’t let on).


One at a time, have each group member open up their envelope and share each picture, briefly describing the picture to the rest of the group: “I see that this person would want to have ice cream with their mentor.” Then the person who is showing the pictures asks the others if they can guess whose envelope it is. When the correct person is identified, that person will have an opportunity to tell a little about why they chose the pictures. If the correct person isn’t identified after two guesses, the group may ask who the envelope belongs to and let them share a little about their pictures.




A 20- to 30-minute role playing activity and discussion



Before the scenario is revealed, rules should be set. It is useful to have the group set their own ground rules that will ensure their comfort in taking risks with the group. The basic rules of the game are as follows.

1. The role play begins when the trainer says “Action!” After this point, only the trainer or one of the actors can interrupt.

2. Actors should not break character to ask questions. The role play should be allowed to continue until either the trainer says “Pause” to interject a learning point or have group discussion, or until an actor becomes truly stuck and does not know what to do or say next. If this happens, the actor can say “Jack Help.” Now, another trainee who thinks they know what to do can take their place. This way, the role play does not have to stop, and more than one trainee participates.

3. The trainer can stop the action at any time; however, it is most useful if trainees are given a chance to struggle along for a time to simulate what it is truly like to be in the moment with the mentee. However, it can be useful to stop if something of note has happened that should be addressed right away, or if the role play has hit a natural break and can be discussed by the group. After discussing what has taken place so far, the trainer has the option of saying “Action!” again and the role play resumes. It is also possible at this point to add more information into the scenario, or even to skip ahead in time.

4. The audience remains passive unless “Jack Help” is called or a discussion is under way.

5. When it is time to give feedback, the trainee playing the part of the mentor should be asked first how they felt and what they thought about what took place. The trainee playing the mentee should be asked next what it felt like to be approached in the way that was used. The audience members should then be asked for their POSITIVE comments, and then their constructive suggestions. The trainer’s own perspective should be stated only after everyone else has had a chance to speak.


This scenario may be used with a group of mentees as they prepare to meet their mentor. It is recommended that mentees be broken into pairs rather than having one come up and play the role in front of the rest. The exercise can also be done one-on-one between a staff member and a prospective mentee or with two volunteers if the students seem very shy or unsure of their English. Or mentees can be divided into groups of 4 or 5 and two volunteers can be recruited from the small group.


Ask mentees to choose who would like to be the mentor and who would like to be the mentee first. Ask them to pretend they are meeting each other for the first time. Ask the “mentors” to act how they hope their mentor will act, and ask the “mentees” to just experience what it is like to meet a new person this way.


Have them role play for a short time, then ask the “mentees” to report how it feels to meet a mentor for the first time. Now ask the “mentors” what it feels like to be a mentor.


Now have them switch roles and try again, and again ask them to debrief on how it felt. Ask them to compare how it felt to be a mentor and to be a mentee.


As a group, discuss what it will be like to have a mentor. What will feel strange and awkward? What seems scary? What is exciting and seems fun? How do they think the mentors will be feeling? What will they want from their mentors when they meet to feel at ease? How might they make things easier on their mentors at the start too?


Make notes on what prospective mentees say in this exercise as their comments can be useful to their mentors.




Trust Walk

A 20-minute activity in pairs

This exercise is used to help mentees to discuss and understand the concept of trust and the role that trust has in the mentoring relationship.

This activity needs to be done in a large space without serious dangers (long flight of stairs, streets, parking lots, etc.)


1. Tell the mentees that you are going to lead them through an exercise called the “trust walk,” and it is about developing trust. Point out that trust is extremely important in relationships, and

that many believe that how we trust people also influences how we function in the world. If you can’t or don’t trust people, you are afraid of everyone and everything, and you won’t be able to risk, or to function properly in the world. Ask students to define trust, give the translation in their native language.

2. Ask mentees to pair up with someone they don’t know very well. Have them choose one person to be blindfolded first. Make sure that when they are blindfolded, they can’t see at all.

3. Ask the other person (you can call them the leader) to lead their partner around the room / school / playground, etc. Also ask the leader to lead the blindfolded person in a safe manner. “Don’t let them run into anything, and let them know if they are going to go up or down steps, encounter rough turf, etc, before they get there.” Remind the leader that they will have their turn at being blindfolded and led by their partner.

4. Tell the pair that they have approximately five minutes, and let them begin the trust walk. (Make sure that they are not near streets or any other dangers, and that there are enough adults to supervise the mentees no matter which direction they take. Adults can steer mentees back toward the starting point if they encounter dangerous areas.)

5. After five minutes have the mentees change roles. Let them for five more minutes.

6. When time is up, bring them all back to the classroom or circle, and ask them to relate this experience. Questions may include:

• How safe did you feel?

• When, if ever, did you feel unsafe?

• Did your partner do anything to make you feel unsafe?

• What does this have to do with relationships?

• How do you think you would function in the world if you couldn’t trust anyone?

• What would be an example of a person betraying a trust in a relationship?

• Why do we need to be able to count on people?

• What do babies need to count on from their parents?

• How do you build trust in a relationship?

• Did the way your partner treated you when you were blindfolded effect the way you treated them when the roles were switched, if you were led first?

• Did knowing you would be blindfolded effect the way you led your partner, if you led first?

• What do you think this exercise has to do with mentoring?

• How do you know when you can trust your mentor?

• How long do you think it will take to build up trust with your mentor?

• How would you try to build up trust with your mentee, if you were a mentor?

• Any other comments about this exercise?



One blindfold for every two mentees. Make sure the blindfolds are made with thick, dark material, so that vision is completely blacked out.


See also: Activity – Name Game for an alternate activity




Pair the mentors and their mentees and distribute the table below. Ask the mentor to first ask the mentee about himself/herself. The mentor should be prepared to explain the meaning of the terms—examples of how these traits manifest themselves will be helpful to the mentee. Then the mentee can ask the mentor. Talk about ways they are alike and ways they are different.





My mentor’s personality is:


My personality is:













     Other (describe)


     Other (describe)


My mentor learns best by:


I learn best by:











My mentor understands things mostly by:


I understand things

mostly by:



Thinking and Analyzing

Thinking and Analyzing




My mentor explains something best by:


I explain something

best by:

Showing how

Showing how

Drawing how

Drawing how

Describing how

Describing how

Writing how

Writing how







Helping your mentee set goals for him/herself is one of the most important things a mentor can do. Each step below is part of a goal-setting process. You can view each step as a skill area that you can work on with your mentee over a period of weeks or perhaps over the entire year. By creating fun and interactive opportunities for her (or him) in any of these goal-setting areas, you will be giving her skills to achieve her goals. The following activities should give you some ideas for ways to build goal-setting skills into your mentoring relationship.

Step 1. Defining Strengths

• Have a conversation with your mentee about what he or she feels good about. What does your mentee like about himself or herself? What special qualities do you see in him or her?

• “Strength” Bingo. Have your mentee create a bingo card with all his strengths listed on the card. This will help the mentee identify strengths and will provide an interactive opportunity for you to talk with him about his qualities

• Create a rap song, poem, or collage from magazines that asks the mentee to identify her strengths. You can work with each other to share your own positive traits or stories.


Step 2. Envisioning Your Future

• Have your mentee create a “life map” of where he wants to go in 20 years. Ask him to write the milestones, travels, jobs, families, and dreams that he sees in his future. What does the map look like? How does he get there?

• Have the mentee write a “time traveler” letter to herself. Ask her to write the letter from the perspective of herself as an adult in the future. What does she see from 20 years in the future? How have things changed since she was a child participating in a mentoring program? What is different? Prompt her to write the letter from the perspective that she has achieved all her greatest dreams.


Step 3. Establishing Short-Term Goals

• Build a tower with your mentee out of newspaper and masking tape or other supplies. Ask the mentee to define the goals for what the tower will look like. How tall will it be? How wide will it be? What will it look like? Use this activity to discuss ways that your mentee can apply this activity to his academic, personal, short- or long-term goals. Ask him prompting questions about ways that he can use this activity to think about goal setting.

• Play a game with your mentee. Ask her to discuss personal goals for the game and you can share your own. Goals are much bigger than just winning the game—you can set goals for having fun, being respectful, or even around asking questions. When the game is complete, ask your mentee about how she accomplished her goals? What did she do? How can she apply this to school? Other relationships?


Step 4. Goal Activities

• Plan a session together. What will you do with your time together? You can ask your mentee to be a famous tour guide and work with him to create an agenda for the day. Discuss specific activities that will happen and when they will happen.

• Plan a service-learning project together. Work with each other to decide on a community need that should be met. This could be anything from a canned food drive at school to a garden project at a site. Set specific activities and dates for how you want to accomplish this project. Who will do what? By when? Several mentor/mentee pairs can work together on this and PAIR will help to make it happen.


Step 5. Planning for Potential Barriers

• Playing games or sports together can provide great opportunities to talk about strategies that you use to plan for potential challenges. How did you prepare for the big game? What did you do? Why did you make a specific chess move that prevented the loss of a piece?

• While planning any activity for the day, ask the mentee to discuss potential challenges that may get in the way. What are potential “rainy day” plans that can help you ensure a great time together even if something goes wrong?


Step 6. Reflection

• Make a mentoring relationship portfolio to document the growth that you have both had since you began your relationship. Use photographs, create drawings, post grades, or use magazine cutouts.

• Ask your mentee to keep a journal. This can begin as a list of what you do together or perhaps one sentence about the activity. Have him or her write out all the activities that you have done together throughout the year.

• Ask your mentee to talk about his or her personal growth throughout the year. What has changed? What is still the same?




Goal-Setting Worksheet

Step 1. Defining Your Personal Strengths

Think about the personal resources you bring with you that can help you in goal


Strength 1: _________________________________________________________________

Strength 2: _________________________________________________________________

Strength 3: _________________________________________________________________

Strength 4: _________________________________________________________________

Step 2. Envisioning Your Future

How do you see yourself in 10 or 20 years? What do you want to be doing in the

long term?

Describe your vision:

Step 3. Establishing Short-Term Goals

What are three short-term goals that you can accomplish that relate to your longterm


Goal 1:

Goal 2:

Goal 3:


Step 4. Goal Activities

Describe activities in which you will participate that will help you achieve your goals.

Set concrete dates and times for when you will accomplish these activities. If this is a

recurring activity, describe how often you will do it (e.g., 1 time a day, 1 time a

month, etc.)

Activity 1: Date this will be accomplished:

Activity 2: Date this will be accomplished:

Activity 3: Date this will be accomplished:

Step 5. Planning for Potential Barriers

What are the barriers that may prevent you from accomplishing your goal? What

steps can you take to overcome these barriers?

Barrier 1: Preventive step:

Barrier 2: Preventive step:

Barrier 3: Preventive step:


Step 6. Reflection

This step should be done throughout the goal-setting process.

What did you learn? How have you changed since working on your goals?


Goal Setting With Your Mentee



Becoming a Co-pilot: A Handbook for Mentors of Adolescents. Effective Skills and

Strategies for Reaching and Encouraging Middle and High School Youth, by

R.P. Bowman and S.C. Bowman (Chapin, SC: YouthLight, 1997).



Community Mentoring for Adolescent Development: Trainer’s Manual, (Waco, TX:

Baylor University Health Education and Wellness, 2004, Rev. ed.)



Elements of Effective Mentoring: A Mentor Training Manual for the In-school

Volunteer Mentor, (Wilmington, DE: Creative Mentoring, 2001).



Get Real. Get a Mentor: How You Can Get to Where You Want to Go With the

Help of a Mentor, by B.E. Webster (Folsom, CA: EMT Associates, 2000).



My Mentor and Me: The High School Years. 36 Activities and Strategies for

Mentors and Mentees To Do Together During the High School Years, by S.G.

Weinberger (Hartford, CT: Governor’s Prevention Partnership, 2001).



My Mentor & Me: The Middle School Years. 36 Activities and Strategies for

Mentors and Mentees During the Middle Years, Including Tips for Talking

About Bullying, by S.G. Weinberger (Hartford, CT: Governor’s Prevention

Partnership, 2003).



What Do You Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go for It! A Guide for Teens,

by B.K. Bachel (Minneapolis, MN: Free Spirit, 2001).