One of the main things that all good communicators should do is keep an adequate distance from other people when you talk. In other words, don’t invade their personal space.
Here is a fun skit that will help illustrate this point for your students. The students will be directed to display a bad communication skill. Then the class will guess which technique they should have done to be better communicators.
Please note: Steps 1 through 3 described below only have to be done once. As you act out the remaining skits, you can jump directly to Step 4 for each subsequent skit.
Additional note: The skits can be enacted in any order.
Put up a large sheet of chart paper and label it with the following words: “What do Good Communicators do?”
Teacher Says or Asks: Do I have a volunteer to read this title out loud with excitement and enthusiasm?
Students Respond: (Choose an eager volunteer to read the poster aloud.)
Teacher Says or Asks: We are going to act out 13 skits that demonstrate some BAD Communication Techniques. There are 2 people in each skit. Therefore, there are 26 parts in all.
After each skit, we will decide what was the GOOD Communication Skill that should have been used by each pair of student actors. This GOOD Communication Skill will be written on the chart paper.
We need a volunteer to record these techniques on the chart paper using one of these thick magic markers.
Students Respond: (Choose a class recorder with very neat handwriting for this activity.)
We will keep this chart posted in the classroom as a good reminder of the thirteen good Communication Skills that will help each of you be a much more effective communicator.
Printable Student Directions download
For your convenience, print out two copies of each skit. That way, each pair of students will have a student script from which to read. You might want to print out a third copy for you to reference.
Each print-out contains three pages:
- Page 1: The actual student script
- Page 2: An example of the communication skills chart
- Page 3: An answer key
Naturally, you will only need to print out the first page for the students. The other two pages are for your eyes only.
Teacher Says or Asks: I will choose two volunteers at a time to act out each skit.
I will hand you two actors a page of directions for you to read and perform. This is every word and/or action that you are going to utilize as you act out your particular communication skill.
Instead of acting out the good communication skill, you are going to act out its opposite. You are going to demonstrate a BAD communication skill.
The class members will attempt to guess what communication skill you are abusing.
Class, the way this will work, you will give the actors a minute or two to act out their skit. As soon as you figure out what they are doing wrong, SILENTLY raise your hand. Once they have concluded their skit, I will strive to call on one of you with a raised hand.
The Class Recorder will then write down what they should have done on the chart paper.
As for the actors, I will whisper some help to each pair of actors, so that they will be sure to act out the action correctly.
Students Respond: (Respond to Questions. Then choose two students per improvisational skit. There are 13 skits total.)
Skit #12 of 13: Adequate Distance
Teacher Says or Asks: For this skit, I need two volunteers who can talk about a movie they have seen.
Students Respond: (Choose two eager volunteers.)
Whisper these instructions to the actors
Teacher whispers to actors only: For this skit, I need two volunteers who can talk about a movie they have seen. Which one of you has a movie you can talk about? While you’re talking about the movie, keep advancing into the personal space of the other person. The other volunteer will play the role of a STUDENT who will keep backing away as the first volunteer invades your personal space.
Here is the script that the two actors will use:
The one STUDENT will talk about a movie. While you talk, keep stepping into the personal space of the other student.
The other volunteer, playing the role of the listening STUDENT, should keep backing away as the volunteer talking about the movie invades your personal space.
==========END OF SKIT SCRIPT==========
Directions for Teacher: Even if students raise their hands with an answer, give the actors a minute or two to act out their part.
Remind the class to not interrupt the skits. Give them a chance to finish the entire skit.
After the skit
Teacher Says or Asks: What did the volunteer talking about the movie NOT do?
Students Respond: He or she did NOT keep an Adequate Distance from the person he or she was talking to
Teacher Says or Asks: Exactly. The first student did NOT keep an Adequate Distance from the other person he or she was talking to. As a result, the other person felt uncomfortable and began backing up, since his or her personal space had been invaded.
Teacher Says: Class Recorder, please write ADEQUATE DISTANCE on the Chart Paper.
Teacher concluding statement: Good Communicators need to keep an Adequate Distance from the person with whom they speak.
To get links to remaining skits, return to Teach good communication skills with these fun student skits
Please note: This article was originally published early in 2010 under an alternate title utilizing the former Examiner publishing tool. Not only has it now been updated and improved, it now includes a free PDF student skit directions download as a considerable time-saving measure for you busy teachers.
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