We have crafted a maintaining conversation lesson plan for middle school students, designed with straightforward, engaging strategies for your classroom routine.
Identifying the Challenges
Many factors could make it hard for middle school students to maintain a conversation, such as the pressure of thinking up responses quickly, discomfort with extended social interaction, or the failure to interpret social cues correctly. Recognizing these challenges is the first step to integrating effective solutions into our lesson plans.
Middle School Maintaining Conversation Lesson
Goals of the Lesson:
By the end of this lesson, students will:
- Grasp the essentials of a conversation, including appropriate turn-taking and responses.
- Learn and practice strategies to keep a conversation going.
For this lesson, you will need:
- Conversation starter flashcards
- A timer
Opening Activity (10 minutes)
Start by discussing conversation basics. Highlight that a conversation is similar to playing catch – you throw a ball (start a dialogue), and the other person catches it (responds). The process repeats in a back-and-forth manner.
Central Activities (30 minutes)
Activity 1: Practicing Turn-Taking
- Split students into pairs.
- Distribute a set of conversation starter flashcards to each pair.
- Ask one student to kick off the conversation using a flashcard prompt, and the other student to respond. They should carry on the conversation for 2 minutes, ensuring they take turns.
- After two minutes, the pairs should switch roles.
- Continue this process using different conversation prompts.
Activity 2: Enhancing the Conversation
- Discuss the importance of enriching a conversation by adding new information. Encourage them to share relevant personal experiences or ask questions about the other person’s comments.
- Ask students to continue their conversations, making sure to include new details or pose a question after every response.
- As pairs engage, provide constructive feedback and assistance where necessary.
Conclusion Activity (10 minutes)
Utilize the free maintaining a conversation worksheet with ten question prompts to help your middle school students practice! Download from the very top of the blog post!
No-Prep Activity Ideas for Ongoing Practice
For further practice outside the primary lesson, consider these no-prep activity ideas:
- Conversation Circle: During free periods or lunch, encourage students to form a conversation circle and engage in a group conversation. Provide a conversation starter if necessary.
- Daily Check-In: Begin each day with a check-in where students share something about their day or answer an interesting question. This practice helps to build a sense of community.
- Storytelling Relay: In this engaging game, each student adds a sentence to a group story, promoting creativity and conversation skills.
Building conversation skills is a journey, and it’s crucial to be patient and supportive as students practice these new strategies. Remember, the goal isn’t perfection, but progress. With regular practice, your students will become more confident and proficient in their conversations.
By incorporating our maintaining conversation lesson plan for middle school into your teaching routine, you can effectively improve the conversational abilities of your students.
Students learn best from watching real students their own age model skills. Try out this sample video-modeling lesson below. We offer our entire Social-Emotional Learning platform free for 30 days here!
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Lesson Plan: Conversation Drivers & Stoppers