Staying on Topic Lesson Plan – Emergent

Hey guys! I wanted to show you some of my favorite ways to work on Staying on Topic. This is something most of us are working on at some point, and I wanted to point out that we’ve already made all the tools you’ll need! Our goal here is to support you so you can have the best sessions possible; saving you time and providing fun tools for your students!

Objective: Staying on Topic

Level: Emergent

Age: Pre-K-K and Elementary

Skill Progression:

To Use:

Print out the following visual tools, read about each concept you’ll introduce, and select which materials you think will be best for your students.

Concepts Used:

Staying on Topic

This concept is as simple as it gets. Use the bullseye and target visual to remind students that they are staying on topic.

Making Connected Comments

Puzzle pieces are a great way for students to visualize making comments that connect back to each other. Use our puzzle pieces below for a fun activity and practice!

Intro Materials:

Start with our Staying on Topic Modeling Video Lesson for a short introduction to the skill. Make sure to talk about:

  • Why it’s important to stay on topic? (It can make others confused when we don’t stay on topic.)
  • How to do it? (Listen to what others say and make a comment or ask a question about it.)
  • Why do we talk about a variety of topics and not just our own favorite subject?

Main Activity:

Watch the Staying on Topic Social Skills in Action Video Lesson. During or after watching, talk about:

  • How Haley went off topic
  • Jack’s reaction to Haley talking about her dog
  • Strategies Haley could use if she can’t wait to talk about her dog (write it down so she doesn’t forget, count to 10, take deep breaths)


Finish up with the Staying on Topic Video Companion Worksheet so students can practice matching comments to the topic. Another fun idea would be to cut out blank puzzle pieces and ask your students to think about other people in the group and what they like to talk about so they can expand on topics beyond their personal favorites.

Next Time:

To continue working on and expanding this topic, I recommend the following activities:

  • Play our online game, Hot Topic, for fun practice on given topics.
  • Use the printable lesson, Conversation GPS Premium Packet, which includes a board game that allows students to practice conversation skills with game cards that direct students to “make a comment”, “ask a “WHO” question”, “change the topic”, etc.

Happy Teaching,