Sanchez Elementary School Online Mentoring Program

Activity Ideas for Online Mentors and protegés

We've identified these online activities for online mentors and students to do as part of this program. We are always looking for additional topics! The program team behind this project is also happy to help guide you at any time during your mentoring relationship.

These suggestions are to help keep conversations flowing, but should be used as guidelines, not as the only things to talk about online. You will receive periodic reminders from the teachers in this program regarding classroom activities they would like for you to discuss with students in particular.

Many of these topics will take longer than just one e-mail exchange to fully explore. DON'T try to do lots of activities at once. Also, revisit topics, and don't be afraid to ask a question again if you didn't get an answer the first time.

None of these activities are synchronous (happening at the same time). Remember that you are never to arrange an online meeting with your protegé via another web site, chat room, or communication system outside this Sanchez Elementary School Online Mentoring Program web site.

Finally, mentors should remember to share as much information as they are asking for, to do the same online activities listed below that students are doing, and to use these suggestions to sometimes switch roles -- let the student guide the mentor!

Suggested E-mail and Web Browsing Activities

  1. Talk about why you got involved in this online mentoring program, what you are looking forward to, what makes you nervous about it, what you hope to get out of it, and what you hope to give as part of it.

  2. Refer to what you know about each other already, per the online profiles you've shared with each other. Note what you have in common, and what you would like to hear more about the other.

  3. Talk about your favorite movies/celebrities/performers/historical figures/heroes/sports figures or teams, etc., why you like them and what you learn from them.

  4. Read the books the protegés are reading, and discuss them.

  5. Talk about your favorite foods to eat, and your favorite foods to cook (and how to cook them!). Try out each others' favorite foods and discuss what you thought about them.

  6. Share information and details of things that might be unique to your particular culture or geographic area (clothing, ceremonies, music, traditions, food, etc.).

  7. Share your favorite uses of the Internet, and the Web sites and online discussion groups you find most helpful or entertaining. Visit each other's favorite web sites and offer your own opinion about them.

  8. Talk about your favorite uses of computers and software (including games) you find the most helpful or entertaining. If you discover that you both play the same computer games, talk about which "levels" you've attained, tips/hints you've found helpful, etc.

  9. Seek out and share Web sites you think your mentor or protegé would enjoy, based on what you know about him or her.

  10. Talk about your pets. Talk about animals that particularly intrigue you and why.

  11. Share positive stories about your family.

  12. Share stories about family conflicts/difficulties and how they were resolved -- or how you wish they had been resolved.

  13. Ask your protegé about the school -- what activities he or she has done so far, what he or she has liked best, what activities are coming up, and so forth.

  14. Mentors: talk about your job, how you trained for it, what you do, if it is different than what you planned on doing when you were in high school, other jobs you've had, jobs you had in high school and what you learned from them, etc.

  15. Students: talk about homework you have recently been assigned or a school activity in which you are involved; mentors, help protegés find online resources that might help them with their homework or this activity.

  16. Discuss your favorite music and performers.

  17. Describe your dream home and the qualities it will have.

  18. Describe your dream car and the qualities it will have.

  19. Participate in one or two of the many online interactive areas provided by various federal agencies, and talk about your experiences in using them, what you learned, what you liked, what you didn't like, etc. Some federally-sponsored sites with online interactive activities include:
  20. Discuss fashion -- clothing and hair styles you like, that you don't like, what's in style now, what used to be in style, etc.

  21. Refer back to previous discussions, or events that the student mentioned. "How did that test go?" or "How was dinner at your aunt's house?" or "How is your baby sister?"

  22. Talk about what you do outside of work/school (hobbies, things you collect, how you spent your weekend, etc.)

  23. Share your own original short stories, poetry, song lyrics, art work or other original materials.
  24. Describe your dream job, however far-fetched it might be, and the qualities it would have. Are there ways to pursue real jobs that would have some of those qualities, or activities outside of the work place that would have those qualities?

  25. Watch the same TV program, and discuss what you saw, what you learned, what you enjoyed, and what you didn't.

  26. Share what you have faith in, what you believe in, and why.

  27. Talk about when you have volunteered to help another person or an organization (a church, a school, a cause you believe in, etc.)? Why did you do it? How did the person or organization benefit from your service? How did YOU benefit from your service? What kinds of volunteering would you like to do? What kinds of volunteering could a young person do with his or her class or with his or her family

  28. Talk about an adult who has (or had) a positive influence on you, and why.

  29. Talk about peer pressure (mentors, remember that adults experience peer pressure too!!).

  30. Talk about the future. What are you most hopeful about for the future? What are you most scared of? What can you do to make a better future for yourself?

  31. Have the protegé give a "virtual tour" of his or her community -- provide URLs for the local paper, community groups the protegé is interested in or considers particularly active, etc. The mentor can then comment about what he or she learned about the area, and then do the same for his or her own area -- either where he or she lives now, or where he or she grew up.

If you have suggestions for additional activities, please contact us.

V E R S I O N: December 15, 2000

Return to the main page of Online Mentoring Guidelines and Activities

Return to the main page of the Sanchez Elementary School Online Mentoring Program


VERSION: December 15, 2000


Return to the main page of the Sanchez Elementary School Online Mentoring Program

This web site is Copyrighted © 2000 by Jayne Cravens

Permission is granted to quote from this web site so long as the author and web site are noted.
Please notify me if you intend to use these materials or to quote me. You don't have to, but it would be appreciated.

This resource was developed by Jayne Cravens for Sanchez Elementary School in Austin, Texas;
the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin; and the Virtual Volunteering Project.
This online mentoring program is no longer operational; these web materials have been preserved to help other schools develop their own online mentoring programs. You can find more online mentoring resources here