Participation in Communication Arts Experiences

Instructor: Della McGuire

Della has been teaching secondary and adult education for over 20 years. She holds a BS in Sociology, MEd in Reading, and is ABD on the MComm in Storytelling.

In this lesson, we will discover some different types of communication arts experiences and how to best encourage and facilitate these experiences while in school. We will also explore how participation in such experiences can enrich anyone's life experience and influence the world around them.

What Are Communication Arts?

This is Jenny's first year of high school. She's excited because there are many more extracurricular activities in the upper grade levels than there were in middle school. She's particularly excited because she loves to be involved in the communication arts, but she's unsure what is available and how her participation would help her in the long run.

Communication Arts are activities that promote communication in creative ways. Humans perform communication in many diverse ways through print media, spoken communication, body language, images and others. Schools provide opportunities to hone communication skills through a variety of extracurricular activities designed to maximize a student's experience working with these forms of communication.

Participation involves contributing your unique experiences, personality and voice to a project. The first step in participating is simply showing up. Attending meetings and planning sessions will provide the knowledge and guidance necessary to participate actively. In this lesson, we're going to take a look at some common communication arts activities and the skills they will provide to students who participate.

Public Speaking

Most communication arts involve speaking out publicly through a variety of different media. While public speaking is a skill that one learns through communication arts, there are opportunities with extracurricular activities that will allow a student to gain experience with public speaking, such as debate, running for student council, Amnesty International, or even poetry readings. This can be a very powerful experience that will prepare students to be comfortable speaking to a group. Stage fright, the heightened nervous energy of speaking out, can potentially discourage someone from participating.

Jenny isn't worried about getting stage fright, because she knows some tricks to help mitigate possible performance anxiety. First, she will be prepared and know the material by practicing. Then, she takes some deep breaths to help slow her heart rate. She has adjusted her perspective so she thinks about the performance anxiety as more of an adrenaline boost that will help her do an amazing job speaking about something she knows well. Finally, Jenny makes sure to have a bottle of water. This gives her a reason to pause if she feels fear taking over.


The yearbook is one of the more fun and exciting parts of school, when students share the highlights of their experiences for the year. Participating in yearbook will help Jenny get to know her classmates better, while getting to see what activities go on through the year. Jenny will get to understand image and text layout to maximize the style and presentation of the yearbook. It might be fun to learn about graphic design and the art of communicating through a combination of text and image, composed and arranged in digital media. She always liked photography and looks forward to an opportunity to practice taking good pictures that show students engaged in fun activities.

Yearbook combines image and text media for a fun way to participate in communication arts
a camera


Reporting the news is an important communication arts activity that focuses on the getting the factual information about a situation. Jenny likes being up to date on current events at the school, around town and across the country. Jenny wants to learn about what makes credible news, so she wants to learn how to tell if an article or story is from a reliable source so her journalism will be more reputable. Her school has several opportunities to get involved with the news. Her skills at writing and interest in photography make her a good candidate for helping with the school newspaper, the class blog, or the weekly student newsletter. For those who want to take part in some public speaking, some schools also have video news stations and radio stations.

The school news team might be a good fit for Jenny
school news interview

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