Communication Skills Activities

Instructor: Grace Pisano

Grace has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in teaching. She previously taught high school in several states around the country.

One of the most important skills we can teach our students is how to communicate well. In this resource you will find a variety of communication building activities for middle and high school students.

The Importance of Communication

Communication, or the exchange of information with another person or people, is essential to any future job your students will have and their ability to develop friendships and community. There are many types of communication, including verbal, nonverbal, written, and oral. In this resource, your middle and high school students will have the opportunity to practice many of the forms of communication in a fun and engaging way. There are opportunities for both group and individual work in this resource.

Telephone Game

For this activity, your class will be playing two rounds of the classic game telephone. For the sake of time, you want to form groups of about 10-12 students. After creating the groups, have students sit in a line. Whisper a sentence or two to one student in the group. This student will turn to their neighbor and whisper the same message. This will continue until each person in the group has received the message. The final person should share what they heard. After all groups have finished, compare what was originally said to the final message. This will probably be quite different from what you originally said.

After this activity, talk to students about what happened. Ask them if there is anything they could have done to help pass the message along better. Some things they might say (or that you may wish to bring up) include: talking slowly, enunciating words, putting aside distractions and listening intently, speaking with confidence and sound level control.

After talking about these skills, play the game of telephone again. Students should be able to get the end message closer to the original message practicing with their new communication skills.

  • Materials Needed: None

The Greatest Food on Earth

In this activity, students will have the opportunity to work on their written and oral communication skills. Students will write and share a one-minute speech that informs about what their favorite food is and persuades others to like (or try!) the food. This activity should be done after teaching about best practices for written and oral communication.

Give students about 10 minutes to write their speech. Then, have them partner with a peer to practice. The peer should be looking for things like talking speed, sound level, eye contact, enunciation, etc. After working with a peer to get feedback, students can practice their speeches for a few more minutes.

Then, each student will share their speech with the class and turn in a copy of their written speech. After all students have shared, have a group reflection about what students noticed from their classmates. Talk about the greatest communication strengths and weaknesses of your class as a collective group.

  • Materials Needed: None

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