This blog focuses on the pros of having good communication skills in a classroom setting and the various communication activities for students.
During post-COVID 19 times, where almost everything is taking place online and students have been attending classes from their home and using gadgets so much more than we used to, since everything is online and there is no other way.
With the sudden shift to everything being online, face to face interactions have considerably declined over the past year and a half.
This has taken away so much learning that would have been easier for students otherwise.
Communication activities for students
- Tell me about the time
- One word letter writing
- Class survey
- Information gap
Ways to maximize the effectiveness of communication activities for students
Communication activities can be used with students across all grades. These activities can help instill a great amount of confidence and independence in learning.
The activities can be explained in different ways, repeatedly by demonstrating them to students by the teachers. It is not necessary for all the students to understand each stage of the activity.
As and when the majority of the class has understood most of it, the activity can be begun. The students can be encouraged to communicate with each other and guided to understand the activity by themselves.
This can bring up observation skills in students and how much they learn by working independently and depending less on the teacher. This can take place in pairs or in small groups depending on the size of the class.
Students at the beginner’s level are usually quick at grasping concepts and are highly competent.
With the right level of assistance and guidance, they can acquire communication skills that will be of help to them, throughout.
By watching videos related to concepts that are about to be taught in class along with the teacher explaining the concept, a space for sharing thoughts, opinions, and ideas and receiving the same in return.
Students can learn fundamental elements of a conversation (namely- body language, eye contact, how to respond, paraphrase and summarize) by watching these videos or even movies for that matter.
During the course of the video, teachers can ask students questions with regards to what a character’s body language signifies or means in the video.
Read-along audiobooks can be used for a better understanding of phonetics and students can listen to how the speaker pronounces words and phrases, through these audiobooks.
The skill of listening can be developed in students by asking one of the students to read out loud and having the class listen and later discuss, reflect and probably even have a quiz on the content.
Active listening is a very important skill in communication. Communication isn’t just about talking but also about listening. Students must be taught to listen to understand rather than listening to just reply back.
By encouraging students to work on activities and presentations, teachers can inculcate and sharpen both verbal and written communication skills.
Students learn how to debate, and maintain healthy communication ties with their peers and take turns and work towards a common goal.
By recording students while they read or present can be an efficient way of assessing their communication and identifying their areas of strength and areas that might have to work on.
If videotaping isn’t a feasible option, constructive feedback can be given to students and peer feedback can also be encouraged and that way students can also learn how to give out constructive feedback and also learn how it is different from criticism.
Encouraging students to use the dictionary to find out the meaning of words that they are unfamiliar with can help increase their vocabulary.
It is also important to build a proper framework for students before teaching them communication skills.
Observing how the speaker uses body language, facial expressions, and the tone of their voice along with what they are trying to communicate.
The speaker’s use of language and their style of conveying the content prepared by them. The speaker’s content and how they are able to incorporate and summarize others’ ideas.
The speaker’s ability to listen to the audience and respond back to them. (Stott, 2018)
Communication activities for students
- Tell me about the time
- One word letter writing
- Just listen
- Who am I?
The class can be split into two halves where one half of the class is in favor of the topic and the other half of the class takes a stance against the given topic.
Debates help in instilling confidence and helps students communicate better, pick up on cues, and put forward their thoughts in a diplomatic and composed manner.
Debates help in increasing general knowledge, assertive communication, and how to participate in group discussions and holding space for the other speakers, and voicing out one’s opinions at the same.
Tell me about the time
One student from the class is assigned as the leader and is asked to stand in front of the class. The leader then points at any student in the class, randomly and asks him/her to “Tell me about the time- (and adds a line out of the blue with no exact context).
The speaker has to continue from the line and build the story and has to continue with the story until the leader asks him/her to stop.
In case any student feels stuck the leader can ask questions to draw out a story. This activity reflects on intuitive communication skills, an increase in the ability to speak in front of the class with confidence, and verbal dexterity as well.
One word letter writing
The class is divided into two for this communication-based activity. Each team will have one piece of paper and two pencils. When the timer starts, each student is asked to write a single letter between them, each of them adding only one word at a time.
The students are asked to write as quickly as possible, without going back to re-read anything except for the last word that was added.
There shouldn’t be an emphasis on grammar or punctuation. Punctuations can be added if needed at the end and there is no need to complete the letter.
At the end of 2 minutes both the groups are asked to read the letters out loud to the rest of the class.
This letter might look nonsensical in the beginning and is known as the “scribble stage”. This should not be discouraged.
As the game is played more often, the letters will turn out to make more sense with practice and figuring out how it works.
This activity is a form of written communication activity and helps with the development of writing and collaborative skills.
Two students are chosen from the class, out of which one student will be the speaker and the other the listener.
The student who is the listener listens without talking and interrupting and the speaker talks about any incident or story that he or she would want to share, for about a minute.
In the end, the listener should retell the whole story, shortly in his or her own words but also by covering important themes and incidents covered in the story.
This activity builds on comprehension and active listening and these are two main components of communication.
This communication activity takes place in pairs. After pairs are made in the group, the members are asked to brainstorm and think of situations where they feel as though they could have been more assertive.
Each student in the pair can take turns to play their situation.
This can help in giving an understanding of where s/he went wrong or could have possibly communicated and clarified things in a more assertive manner.
Since the situation isn’t really as uncomfortable as having the conversation with the person in conflict this gives more understanding and seeing things from a different light.
Who am I?
This communication activity requires the group to be split into pairs. Each student is asked to think of a famous personality and write it down on a post-it.
The post-it is then placed on the partner’s forehead. The student with the post-it has to ask questions and get answers.
Each pair gets 5 minutes to guess the personality mentioned on the post-it.
This communication-based activity enables members to ask the right kind of questions to receive answers.
The trick here is to figure out how to frame a question (open-ended or close-ended) and receive responses. Asking questions is an integral part of communication.
These communication activities for students are designed to be fun, interactive, and lively. An active, interactive, cooperative class environment is required for learning to take place.
It also helps in developing and in the improvement of social skills and interpersonal relationships and helps in shaping the way students interact with each other and in the outside world.
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Frequently asked questions
What are some communication activities?
Some effective communication activities that can be implemented for better communications are:
- Listen and draw
- Guess the emotion
- Communication origami
- Card pieces
- The guessing game
What are some communication activity examples?
One activity would be that of listen & draw. Gather a group of participants and hand them with a sheet of paper and pen each. Give them verbal instructions, one step at a time in drawing an object. For example- draw a square, measuring up to 4 inches on each side.
What are the six types of communication?
There are six basic types of communication:
- Non- verbal
- Verbal oral face to face
- Verbal oral distance
- Verbal written
What are the five methods of communication?
The five methods of communication are:
- Non-verbal communication
- Verbal communication
- Written communication
- Visual communication
- Active listening
What are the five barriers to communication?
The five barriers to communication are:
- Attitudes of people and their emotional state
- Work environment
- Distractions and other priorities
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