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Effectively Communicating to Myself and Others

An important skill we must demonstrate to sustain our relationships is effective communication. People cannot read our minds, so it is our jobs to communicate the emotions we feel and the thoughts we want to express. To first introduce this concept to students, they engaged with an EdPuzzle that highlighted the three stages of communication: listening, understanding, and responding.

Using the introduction from this video, the students applied the three stages to an activity called "Back To Back" where the students picked a random topic from a cup then drew a detailed picture relating to that topic. They were paired up with a random partner and the two sat back to back in chairs. The pairs were tasked to effectively communicate steps to their drawing that way their partner can replicate their creation.

Our K-3 students were introduced to this topic by simply practicing it in an organic setting: having a conversation with each other about our day. The students talked to us about the details of their day and how they currently feel. It was interesting to observe their effective communication in a comfortable setting they are used to everyday because it demonstrated to us that they already have necessary skills to effective communicate.

To end our day, the students randomly picked a conversation starter and together, the students practiced the methods of effective communication to conduct conversations pertaining to these topics. What better way to learn than to continuously do!

We shifted our focus on non-verbal communication and how it is equally important for effective communication. The students watched a video of high school students engaging in a non-verbal communication game. The students analyzed this video and discussed where the communication went wrong.

Then, the students, on their own, engaged with this game. It was very interesting to see how their ideas changed based on the non-verbal communication skills implemented. Ultimately, the students understood that one is not more important than the other, but rather they work in conjunction to successfully communicate.

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