Dialogue Activities & Games

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

Communication is often a two-way street, so understanding how to have an effective dialogue is a valuable skill. This lesson provides teachers with dialogue activities and games for students of varying ages and skill levels.

Let's Dialogue

No matter the age or ability of your students, chances are they could benefit from an improved understanding of how to engage with others through dialogue. It can be helpful to begin this lesson by brainstorming with your class about their current knowledge of dialogues. Try asking the following questions to get the conversation started.

  • What's a dialogue?
  • What are some examples of dialogues?
  • Is a speech a dialogue? Why or why not?
  • How do you tell the difference between a good dialogue and a poor dialogue?

After your students have warmed-up to dialogues, try out the activities and games below.

Make it Better

In this activity, a pair of students will rewrite and deliver an existing dialogue.

  1. Find a film clip that includes dialogue. If desired, you can choose a well-known film dialogue such as a pivotal speech or scene. Alternatively, you can have students choose their own film dialogue to rewrite.
  2. Put the students into pairs and show the scene to the class. If possible, provide each team with a transcript of the scene.
  3. Give the pairs time to rewrite the dialogue in their words.
  4. Have each team perform their dialogue for the class. If students have chosen their own scenes, have them show the class the original scene before delivering the rewritten dialogue for their classmates.

You can also have the class vote for the best rewrite or best performance and award prizes to the winning teams.

Dialogue Confusion

To prepare for this activity you will need to photocopy a page of dialogue from a book of your choice. Next, go through the dialogue and cross out any names or pronouns that would identify the speakers, location or overall situation. Make enough copies of the redacted dialogue for each student.

  • Hand out the dialogue to the class.
  • Tell them to read the dialogue and answer the following questions.
    • How many people are involved in this dialogue?
    • Give as much of a demographic and personality description of the people as possible. (Gender, age, mood, etc.)
    • What is the dialogue about?
  • Bring the class back together and as you solicit answers to the questions, discuss any differences of opinion about the dialogue and explore possible reasons for different interpretations.
  • Show students the original, un-redacted dialogue and continue the class discussion.

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