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Printable skit #5 student directions: Turn-taking

One of the main things that all good communicators should do is take turns talking and listening.

Skit 5 clip for taking turns when you talk
Skit 5 clip for taking turns when you talk
Debbie Dunn aka DJ Lyons

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.

Step 1:

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.)

Step 2:

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:

  1. Page 1: The actual student script
  2. Page 2: An example of the communication skills chart
  3. 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.

Step 3:

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.

Any Questions?

Students Respond: (Respond to Questions. Then choose two students per improvisational skit. There are 13 skits total.)

Step 4:

Skit #5 of 13: Turn-Taking

Teacher Says or Asks: For this skit, I need two volunteers. Both students will play the role of a student.

Students Respond: (Choose two eager volunteers.)

Whisper these instructions to the actors

Teacher whispers to actors only: Which one of you wants to read a rather long script out loud? Make certain when you read that you never give the other student a chance to answer any of your questions or to say even one word.

The other volunteer will play the role of a polite student who will try to open his or her mouth to respond to the questions posed by the other student but will never get a chance to get a word in edge-wise. He or she should look very frustrated.

Here is the script that the two actors will use:

==========SKIT SCRIPT==========

Rude Student: I heard the greatest story the other day. It was called “Jack and the King’s Girl.” Have you ever heard it?

Polite Student: (Open mouth to try to answer, then close your mouth and look frustrated that you didn’t get a chance to respond.)

Rude Student: Well, anyway, there was this princess who never laughed or smiled. All she would ever do was sit by the window staring out every day. Boring! Have you ever done that?

Polite Student: (Open mouth to try to answer, then close your mouth and look frustrated that you didn’t get a chance to respond.)

Rude Student: I know I haven’t. Life is too much fun to waste my time watching it pass me by out the window. Don’t you agree?

Polite Student: (Open mouth to try to answer, then close your mouth and look frustrated that you didn’t get a chance to respond.)

Rude Student: Well, anyway, her father was the king, of course. Have you ever met a king?

Polite Student: (Open mouth to try to answer, then close your mouth and look frustrated that you didn’t get a chance to respond.)

Rude Student: I know I haven’t. I’d like to though. Maybe if Prince Charles or Prince William ever get to be the king over in England, I’ll get to meet them.

Polite Student: (Open mouth to try to answer, then close your mouth and look frustrated that you didn’t get a chance to respond.)

Rude Student: Have you ever been to England?

Polite Student: (Open mouth to try to answer, then close your mouth and look frustrated that you didn’t get a chance to respond.)

Rude Student: I haven’t yet. But my Mom said that I could go there when I turn 18. Maybe we could go together! Wouldn’t that be fun?

Polite Student: (Open mouth to try to answer, then close your mouth and look frustrated that you didn’t get a chance to respond.)

Rude Student: Well, the king in the story held a contest for whoever could make the princess laugh. If he succeeded, he would get to marry her and also get two bags of gold. Man, oh, man! I sure would like to have some gold. I’d even take one bag. But I’d sure hate it if my parents held a contest involving me without me knowing about it. Wouldn’t you?”

Polite Student: (Open mouth to try to answer, then close your mouth and look frustrated that you didn’t get a chance to respond.)

==========END OF SKIT SCRIPT==========

Step 5:

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 student who was reading NOT do?

Students Respond: He or she did NOT give the other student a chance to answer any of the questions. He or she did NOT take turns talking and listening.

Teacher Says or Asks: Exactly. The student did not follow good Turn-Taking procedures.

Teacher Says: Class Recorder, please write TURN-TAKING on the Chart Paper.

Teacher concluding statement: Good Communicators need to practice good Turn-Taking with each other. Each person needs to take turns talking and listening.

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To get links to remaining skits, return to Teach good communication skills with these fun student skits

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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.

Please note: The story used in the skit was a short excerpt from Richard Chase’s story called “Jack and the King’s Girl.” To hear the rest of the story, watch the video performed by professional storyteller, Debbie Dunn.

* If you would like to hear more of Richard Chase’s story called “Jack and the King’s Girl,” you can watch Debbie Dunn performing this story on YouTube.com at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uywk6fX0DA4

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For comments or questions, e-mail: moredunntales@yahoo.com

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