Effective Communication Skills: A MS Health Lesson

Title of Lesson:  Communication

Course Name:  Health

Grade Level: 8

Author’s Name:  Lynn Lechleitner

School District:  Cornwall Lebanon School District

PA Academic Standards for Health, Safety, and Physical Education
10.1. Concepts of Health
10.1.9.A.  Analyze factors that impact growth and development between adolescence and adulthood.
  • Interpersonal communication
10.3. Safety and Injury Prevention
10.3.9.C.  Analyze and apply strategies to avoid or manage conflict and violence during adolescence.  
  • Effective negotiation
  • Assertive behavior
PA Academic Standards for Career Education and Work
13.2. Career Acquisition (Getting a Job) 
13.2.8.A.  Identify effective speaking and listening skills used in a job interview.  
13.2.8.E.  Explain, in the career acquisition process, the importance of the essential workplace skills/knowledge, such as, but not limited to: communication.
Learning Objectives
The students will be able to
  • identify effective communication strategies.
  • explain why effective communication is important.
Instructional Procedure
10 MinutesNote - There is a PowerPoint included with this lesson that you can use to follow along.
Instant Activity—(You may also do this activity individually and students can stay in their seats and use a single piece of paper).  As students enter the room, ask them to answer the two questions posted in the front of the room.  These questions are posted on their own piece of large butcher paper.  Markers are also available for the students to write with.  
  • Question #1:  Is it possible to not communicate?  
  • Question #2:  Finish the phrase.  Communication is...
10-15 MinutesPartner Communication Activity
  • Note - Do not tell your students that this is a communication activity.
  • Students will find a partner.  
  • Partner A will have a piece of paper and pen/pencil.  Partner A must turn away from the board and look towards the back of the classroom.  Partner A is only allowed to draw and may not ask any questions.  
  • Display “diagram one” on the board (found on the PowerPoint).
  • Partner B must describe what is on the board to their partner.  Partner B is not permitted to look at his/her partner’s paper.  If time allows, you may switch roles and put a different object on the board.  
  • Follow up discussion:  Ask the students the following questions:  “Was communication important for this activity”?  Discuss.
10 MinutesDirect Instruction
  • Provide direct instruction for slides 5-9 while students take notes.
5 MinutesActivity: Body Language
  • Show slides 10 and 11 and ask students to answer the following question: “Based on the body language, what is going on in this picture?  What might they be thinking or feeling?  Why do you think so?  
  • Discuss as a class.  
5 MinutesActive Listening Discussion
  • Discuss active listening found on slide 12.
10 MinutesVideo (Slide 13)
  • Watch video and have students list all the do’s and don’ts of communication.  
  • Discuss as a class.
Formative Assessment
Ticket out the Door
In 3-4 lines explain why communication is important and how it is used in your daily life.  
Materials Needed
Sanderson, C., Zelman, M., Armbruster, L., & McCarly, M. (2019). Comprehensive health skills for middle school. Tinley Park, Illinois: Goodheart-Willcox.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. (2012, December 20). "Who's On First?": The Sequel (w/ Jimmy Fallon, Billy Crystal & Jerry Seinfeld).

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