Communication Skills Lesson & Activities

In today’s society, with the abundance of electronic devices that keep students and adults ever so occupied and isolated, communicationcommunication skills have never been more important and necessary. This lesson and activities strive to teach students the characteristics necessary for effective communication skills in various aspects of their lives in a fun and interactive way, using a variety of techniques. I’m sure there are many other activities that could be used in addition to what you will find here so, if you have a great way to teach communication skills, please share in the comment section below.


  • Begin by having students answer the bell ringers and then discuss their responses. Bell ringers are as follows
    • Is it possible to not communicate?  Explain
    • Finish the phrase “Communication is…”


  • Projector & Screen
  • Laptops or Electronic Devices
  • Individual white boards & markers (optional)


  • Ask students how easy it is to communicate effectively and to brainstorm a list of things that could go wrong.  Students can add to their lists as they view this YouTube clip. Discuss their answers before going over the characteristics of effective communication which include eye contact, active listening, feedback/responses and a clear message.
  • Practice identifying whether communication is effective or not by viewing Clip #1 and Clip #2
  • To see what happens when effective communication criteria is missing, have students participate in the drawing activity (see attachments for directions).  Scatter students around the room with a white board, marker and wipe or a piece of white paper, and pencil.  Go through the rules and activity.  After the final instruction is given ask students to return to their seats and compare their drawings.  There is usually a huge difference between drawings.  Show students what it should look like and then discuss “problems” that occurred along the way to prevent their drawings from looking like mine.Here are a couple of samples from my students.Elephant.Drawing.Samples
  • Next, we discuss the types of communication but focus on non-verbal communication.  Here is a short YouTube clip to introduce it and one to learn more about it before engaging in the activities.
  • Students then take an emotional intelligence quiz to see how well they can read other people by their facial expressions.  Students then practice with pictures found within the PPT below.
  • To learn more about the levels of communication students complete take notes using the notes slide found in the Communication Skills attachment below and they practice applying the information by sorting the examples and placing them on the magnetic board.  We discuss and correct card placements as a class.
  • At this point we discuss the Do’s and Don’ts of communication skills and practice identifying as such by playing Kahoot (search Communication Do’s and Don’ts in public Kahoots) and identifying and discussing the do’s and don’ts as they appear in Clip #1 and Clip #2.
  • The last part of this mini-unit is to discuss “I-messages” and look at what the key phrases are and how they are used at the workplace as well as with parenting.  Students then refer back to the pictures used for non-verbal communication practice (in the PPT) to practice writing “I-messages” based on what they wrote was happening in the picture.  Students then trade “I-messages” with a class mate and they peer edit each other’s “I-messages” by making sure all the parts are present.
  • This worksheet can be used for more practice or as an “I-message” quiz.
  • Finally, a test is given on all communication information.


Note:  If you are using the old Communication Skills PDF, you will need to use the below slide of notes in place of the web activity for the 3 levels of communication previously used as that link is corrupt and no longer working or just download the updated version above.


Image courtesy of Ambro at Free Digital Photos

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