Conversation skills staying on topic

In this activity, students will practice important conversation skills of staying on topic, or talking about the same topic back and forth with a partner without derailing the conversation.

Do you know anyone who only listens to hear if you’ve stopped talking so that he can start talking about his own interests?

I have someone in my life like that. We’ll call him Robert.

As soon as Robert doesn’t hear any more sounds coming from my mouth, he’ll start talking about a totally new topic that has nothing to do with what I was just saying. When I call him on it, he says, “Oh, I thought you were done.”

not listening

Listening to understand and make the other person feel heard and valued is an important communication skill. One that Robert doesn’t have, and that we want to make sure we’re teaching our students.

In this game, students will choose a topic card and proceed to carry on a conversation about the topic. Each time a partner responds on topic, he’ll put down a letter card with the goal of spelling out the word “Communication.” If a partner responds with a non-sequitur, they’ll get a stop card, interrupting the spelling of the word. The goal of the game is staying on topic as long as possible.