Establishing Effective Communication Skills

Each week on the QuaverSEL blog, we’re highlighting one of the core CASEL competencies and a sub-skill.  This week, we’re taking a look at relationship skills and just two of the many resources available to help students master effective communication.

Let’s dive in! 

The ability to communicate clearly and listen well is an important skill to explore as students begin to build and maintain relationships in and out of the classroom.

Today, we’ll take a look at two activities that encourage effective communication and conversation skills.*

Talking to Each Other

In Resource Manager, type “Talking to Each Other” into the search bar and select it from the Interactive Resources. This activity breaks down the steps of having a conversation for students. 

The first step is to “Face Each Other.” Push PLAY and the characters will move to face each other and wave to indicate that they want to have a conversation. This is a great time to discuss with your class the body language needed to show another person you are interested in talking to them.

Introduce the next step, which is to “Look At Each Other’s Eyes.” In most of the United States, it is considered respectful for people to make eye contact during a conversation. For some people, it can be uncomfortable to make eye contact. Let students know that not everyone will make eye contact during a conversation and that’s okay. 

The third step is to “Take Turns Talking.” This can be a difficult step for a lot of students, so this is a great opportunity to talk about why this step is important. What will happen if you do not take turns in a conversation? How might the other person feel if you don’t give them a chance to speak? 

This leads to the final step of any conversation, “Listen, Then Answer.” 

After talking through these steps, it may help students to practice having a conversation on their own. 

Your QuaverSEL Curriculum has another resource that will reinforce these skills in your classroom. 

Let’s Have a Conversation

Back in Resource Manager, click the light green RELATIONSHIP SKILLS icon. On the left, you’ll be able to select COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS to filter your search results. Scroll through the filtered resources until you find “Let’s Have a Conversation.” You can also search for this activity in the search bar. 

This screen showcases two students having a conversation with one another. This activity gives your class sentence stems and conversation starters. You can also point out that the characters on the screen are facing each other just as you discussed in the “Talking to Each Other” activity. 

The IDEAS button gives students conversation starters. There are several ways for your students to practice their communication skills and you, as the teacher, can decide what will work best in your classroom. You could pair up students to talk to each other, using the conversation steps as a guide.

You can also choose to have two volunteers model a conversation for the class and then have the students evaluate whether or not the volunteers demonstrated each step effectively. 

Evolve this activity into a writing assignment by having students create their own conversation starters to use throughout their day. Take it a step further by offering a positive incentive to any student who uses their conversation starters with a classmate during lunch or recess. This encourages students to practice these skills outside of your classroom in real-world situations. 

And there you have it! These are just two of the many resources at your disposal for developing effective communication skills in your classroom. 

Stay tuned to the blog in the coming weeks as we dive into responsible decision-making and identifying problems. 


How do you encourage effective communication in your classroom?

*Looking to use these activities but aren’t a QuaverSEL user quite yet? Try these activities and hundreds more free for 30 days at!