Communication Skills Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Communication skills are crucial yet many students lack the basics. A text lesson gives important facts while an activity allows for practice. To continue on with instruction, take advantage of our suggestions for related lessons and extensions.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'communication skills'
  • identify key aspects of effective communication
  • demonstrate specific facets of effective communication


1 to 2 hours


  • Index cards with different scenarios printed on them (e.g. a funeral, a sporting event, a court hearing, and so on)
  • A shoe box

Curriculum Standards


Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.


Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.


Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation. (See grade 5 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.)

Key Phrases

  • Remember names
  • Use eye contact
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Match mood, body language, and voice tone
  • Listen
  • Use friendly body language
  • Give compliments
  • Be clear and concise


  • Ask students to explain what communication skills are, writing key points on the board.
  • Now have the class watch the introduction, What Are Communication Skills? and General Communication Skills sections of the video lesson Communication Skills: Definition & Examples.
  • As the students are watching, write the vocabulary terms on the board.
  • When the students are finished watching those sections, review the terms listed on the board in terms of what was presented in the video.
  • Now ask the class to consider how these things might change in communication when in a disagreement, writing their key points on the board once more.
  • Now watch the reminder of the lesson.

Discussion Questions

  • What are some common barriers to effective communication?
  • Are these communication strategies universal?

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