Communication Lesson Plans for High School, Middle School and Upper Elementary: The BIG list of Communication Activities for your Students!

Communication Lesson Plans and Activities for High School students, Middle School and Upper Elementary – Mar 1, 2024: Effective communication is more than just a presentation mark.

  • Here’s a free Text Message Puzzle: Why would you post it online? Can your students figure out who is texting and what is going on?
  • Chat GPT has completely changed how we can communicate. Read more.

Communication is about getting your message across in a clear, effective way – especially when you’re tired, stressed out, or talking about hot-topic, controversial topics.

Here are some lessons to help students communicate clearly and effectively by understanding how communication breaks down. Students also reflect on their communication style. Are you assertive? Aggressive? Passive? Passive-Aggressive? Take the student survey to start the conversation!

Are you talking about ChatGPT and Education in your Communication Lesson Plans

ChatGPT is going to completely change Education. (Whether you want it to or not.)

A lot of teachers have mixed feelings about using ChatGPT in the classroom.

Here are three ways we can use ChatGPT to help improve communication

  1. Ask ChatGPT for feedback on how to say something more assertively.
  2. Ask ChatGPT to predict how someone might respond to your message.
  3. Ask ChatGPT to rephrase your ideas to communicate more clearly or concisely.

Anyone can use this artificial intelligence tool to give us a second opinion on how we can get our message across more effectively.

Now imagine what it can do for a student who is an English Language Learner (ELL, ESL) or a student with a learning disability.

If you have the ideas in your head, but you have trouble writing them down, or communicating them clearly, you can simply ask Chat GPT for help: “Here are some ideas I have. Can you help me put them together into a paragraph?”

PS, Chat GPT speaks multiple languages.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Our robot friends can learn to become biased or sexist (just like the Google search algorithm did. Here’s an example of how Google search provides sexist misinformation video lesson at 36:44)

This video is set to start at 36:44 where I walk through an example of how Google Search has learned to be sexist and provide misinformation. Crazy, right? How are we helping our students to think about the information our robot friends are feeding us?

Sometimes, you can do everything right and still not be heard.

It’s not fair! Now what?

Check out these 12 communication lessons.

Help your students with these engaging lessons to develop the soft skills they need to deal with 21st-century problems.

How do you get your point across during those important conversations about things that really matter:

  • Do you agree with Woke culture?
  • Is this Fake News?
  • Do students deserve trigger warnings about teaching content in the same way as nut-free snacks? (Is mental health as important as physical health?)
  • Is ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence going to take all of our jobs?
  • Are we allowed to feel Ukraine war fatigue in the “West” when Ukrainian soldiers fight mental fatigue?
  • Do you deserve a raise? a job?
  • Why are you casting shade on my best friend?

Communication Activities for Students Quick Links:

  • Check out this article about Rosa Parks. What if we focused on her conversation with the bus driver? The resource includes discussion questions and sample answers.

Communication and Social-Emotional Learning

Want an example of assertive communication?

Help students understand the communication process. Explore how different communication styles can help with Social-Emotional Learning.

  • Self-Management (managing emotions and behaviours to achieve goals)
  • Self-Awareness (recognizing one’s strengths and challenges when it comes to communicating)
  • Responsible decision-making (deciding when to hold your ground and be assertive and when to be flexible on an issue is part of how we make ethical and constructive choices about our personal and social behaviour.)
  • Relationship skills (forming positive relationships, working in groups, dealing with conflict… the success or failure depends on how well we get our message across!)
  • Social Awareness (showing understanding and empathy for others and their communication style can help us think about how to adjust our choices to get our message across)…

Remind students HOW to communicate in a classroom setting.

I’m not talking about setting classroom rules like raise your hand, or look at the person speaking.

I’m talking about helping students get their message across more effectively – at school and in life.

Help students recognize they can choose how to communicate: whether it’s being assertive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, or just plain passive.

We live in a changing world. How we communicate makes all the difference.

Communication isn’t always easy – whether we’re trying to communicate:

  • online through a pandemic,
  • during hot emotional topics and racial divides,
  • or in every day life with our classmates or family members !

Students often don’t realize that communication is a learnable skill.

Communicating with others is “a two-way street.”

  • Effective communication skills can be more than just oral presentations and group work marks.
  • A communication skills lesson plan can help empower students with strategies to get their message across at school and outside of school.

Just because we think we’re communicating clearly doesn’t mean our message is being heard.

Here are some fun communication activities for students to see how easily our message can break down.

Let’s help everyone communicate a little more effectively during these challenging times.

What about when you’re trying to communicate with someone you completely disagree with on a topic that’s important to both of you.

Like systemic racism, institutionalized injustice, voting and election fraud, or climate change.

Black Lives Matter.

Those three words can trigger strong emotional feelings on all sides.

Jacob Blake.

George Floyd.

Breonna Taylor.

Daunte Wright.

The Washington Post has logged every person shot and killed by an on-duty police officer in the United States. They have logged over 8,381 fatal police shootings in the US since 2015.

Although half of the people shot and killed by police are White, Black Americans are shot at a disproportionate rate. They account for roughly 14 percent of the U.S. population and are killed by police at more than twice the rate of White Americans. Hispanic Americans are also killed by police at a disproportionate rate.

Source: Washington Post Police Shootings Database

So, how well do you communicate in an argument, a fight, or a conversation where the stakes matter?

Events in the US and around the world have put a spotlight on systemic problems.

Conversations around race can trigger some powerful and deep-rooted feelings in many people.

Sometimes, watching the news can bring up tough conversations, angry voices, and frustrated people.

So, what happens when the next news cycle begins, and the media moves on to the next hot-button topic?

The strong feelings are still just as strong.

Maybe there are communication activities for high school students and middle school classrooms that can help provide strategies.

Just because we communicate (or communicate loudly) doesn’t mean our message gets across.

(Or that we get what we want.)

Everyone can communicate.

  • But how do we teach our students to communicate clearly, effectively, and assertively in tough situations when emotions are running high?
  • More importantly, how can we teach our students that just because you communicate clearly, effectively, and assertively, it doesn’t mean things change?

The real world isn’t always fair. Neither is the schoolyard.

Teacher-student communication in the classroom isn’t a one-way street.

  • When students yell at their teachers, it usually doesn’t end well.
  • Likewise, when teachers monologue in their lessons without looking for verbal or non-verbal cues for feedback from the students, it can mean that students are not engaged or learning.

Effective communication skills are more than just school learning skills. They’re life skills.

And, sometimes, we need to recognize that we also send a message through how we portray or stereotype groups of people.

(Check out this FREE Who is Invisible resource to start a conversation about which groups of people aren’t seen at all!)

Communication Lesson Plans for a World That Can Be Unfair
(i.e. Systemic Racism, Bias, and Discrimination)

6 ways to teach students to communicate more clearly when things matter

Here do we help students get their message across when emotions run high? Here are 6 ideas:

  1. Teach students that communication is a process.
  2. Give students a toolbox of communication strategies.
  3. Help students understand the difference between assertive communication, aggressive communication, passive communication, and passive-aggressive communication.
  4. Remind students that sometimes you can do “everything right” and communicate assertively… and things still don’t work out.
  5. Encourage a growth mindset. Reflect back on our communication blunders and successes and learn from our experience.
  6. Role model communication strategies ourselves. Talk-aloud our choices.

Communication in the real world is more than just an oral communication mark in English Language Arts

Communicating is more than just doing an oral presentation in class or giving a mark for class participation.

Those can be good places to start, but let’s keep the conversation going (pun intended!)

  • Let’s acknowledge that communicating face-to-face at school can be tough.
  • But, communicating online during a pandemic can be even tougher.
  • And, communicating with someone who disagrees with us during racial tensions? Wow!

Help your students understand how to communicate better whether they’re at home, at school, in relationships, and eventually in the workplace.

Help your students understand how to use their voice and be heard.

And also understand that they can do everything right in terms of communication strategies and still not be heard.

Being assertive doesn’t mean we get what we want.

It means we communicate clearly what our boundaries are and try to work towards solutions where we all win… without compromising our values.

(Or, it’s a deal-breaker, and sometimes, you need to walk away.)

6 Cs Communication Lesson Plans because Education is Constantly Changing – Did we sign up for this?

Everyone can communicate. Not everyone can communicate well.

What did your communication lesson plans look like during the pandemic?

  • Of course, acknowledge the difficult circumstances we are all in.
  • Discuss the idea about #alonetogether – we are alone… but we are also together in our aloneness.

Then, turn the conversation to the silver lining which is this:

This is an opportunity for us to explore how we communicate – especially now that we have the added challenge of learning together… when we’re not together!

Learning in the classroom can be tough.

Distance learning and online learning can be even tougher because you don’t have nonverbal language to to help you understand the message.

Communication lesson plans need to focus on more than just presentation skills.

Let’s explore communication activities for high school students where students analyze where their face-to-face conversations and online chats might be going wrong.

How about we look at communication skills lesson plans. Middle school students can understand the difference between assertive conversations and coming across as aggressive, passive-aggressive, or just passive.

What about communication skills lesson plans for elementary where we use “games” to break down different parts of the communication process.

Communication lesson plans give teachers effective communication process strategies to teach elementary, middle school, and high school students.

We need to provide our children and students with 21st-century competencies / transferable learning skills to enable them to cope with challenges in their personal and professional relationships.

And, even if you have communication lessons to help your students “communicate more effectively”, the real question is how do your students do when they’re angry, triggered, stressed out, or in some other tough conversation?

A lesson plan for communication skills needs to go over several things:

  • How the communication process works
  • Where communication breaks down (in the communication process)
  • Communication strategies to help get the message across and to double/check the message gets across
  • Different communication styles in tough conversations: Assertive, Aggressive, Passive-Aggressive, and Passive

(Oh, and by the way – communication is different from collaboration. And while we’re at it, collaboration and teamwork do not always mean the same thing! Read this page about collaboration skills to find out the difference!)

Communication Activities for Students during unusual times

The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting learning in different ways around the world. Social distance requires us to find creative ways to teach students were not physically in the same classroom as us. We call this distance-learning or distance education.

Bottom line? It means adapting and modifying our lesson plans to be effective using online learning tools.

Communication clearly is tough.

Communicating clearly when you can’t read nonverbal signals can be even tougher.

We need to explicitly teach our students about the communication process so they can be aware of how their message might be perceived by the other person – especially in an online environment.

Over the next few days, these communication lesson plans can be adapted and include suggestions on how you could teach or modify these communication activities so they work in the classroom or through an online learning tool.

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6Cs Communication Lesson Plans – Table of Contents

Who can benefit from effective communication skills?


Learning how to communicate effectively is a skill that anyone (and everyone) can work on.

This is actually a pretty big deal. School is kind of an artificial institution. We talk about oral communication and being effective communicators … and then focus on things like presentation skills:

  • Do you have eye contact
  • How is your body language?
  • Do you have any distracting visual or verbal noises… um… ah… er…
  • Can we hear you clearly?
  • Are you speaking too quickly?

But, communication lessons need to focus on more than just presentation skills or active listening skills.

We communicate with people all the time. From our conversations with family, to our emails with our co-workers and other team members, to social media exchanges.

The real question is how do you communicate effectively in tough conversations when you both want different things, or you’re both mad…

Although these communication lesson plans were developed initially with middle school students in mind, they can be modified or adapted for:

  • Elementary students
  • High school students
  • Home-schooled students
  • Small business human resources training
  • Large corporation human resources training

Adapting these communication lessons for middle school and older elementary students

Younger students in the primary grades are more ego-centric, so of course, teachers will need to modify and simplify the language or examples. But the concepts around clear communication are still the same.

Communication skills for elementary students often look at presentation skills:

  • Do you make eye contact?
  • How is your body language? Any distractions?
  • Are you speaking loud enough for people to hear at the back of the room
  • Can you be easily understood? Do you speak clearly or do you speak too fast or mumble?
  • Are you listening to the person presenting? Are you looking at the person and nodding at appropriate times?

When in fact, communication skills for elementary students should also look at every day conversations.

There’s more to oral communication than just marking a presentation – although that’s often the easiest way to get a mark for report cards.


  • Explore different ways that we communicate – not just during presentations, but in every day life, with friends, at home, and in the classroom.
  • Focus on having students recognize the 4 parts of communication:
    • Are they the sender of the message?
    • Are they the receiver of the message?
    • What was the message?
    • How do we know the message was received?
  • Recognize that when we communicate, there are many parts in a message.
    • There are words in the message.
    • But, there’s also a message that gets told by our tone of voice, our body language, and our facial expression.
    • It’s not just what you say, but how you say it. These all impact how we are heard.

Modifying these Communication Lesson Plans / Skills / Activities for High School students / Adult learners

These concepts about assertive and clear communication are equally valid for high school and adult learners as they are for elementary students.

When you use these communication scenarios for high school students, remember that no one wants to be told they don’t communicate well.

After all, if there’s a breakdown in communication, it’s the other person’s fault.

That may be true. But, if our goal is to get our message across, what can we do to give our message the best chance of being heard?

Here are some specific communication strategies to consider:

  • Are we able to be more assertive (and protect our boundaries)?
  • Do we need to accept that this issue isn’t worth fighting over?
  • Should we walk away because this issue is a dealbreaker for us?

Sure, we may already be great at communication. But let’s remind our students that effective communication skills can always be honed and improved!

Teaching communication skills activities to high school students is important. It helps build healthy relationships – whether we’re looking at personal relationships or workplace relationships.

Communication Scenarios for High School Students

Here are some prompts you can use with your communication activities for high school students.

These might make for some great acting scenes in drama class.

But, let’s take a moment and do more than just an over-the-top melodramatic performance for our friends.

STEP 1. Have high school students review the communication process and 4 styles of communication.

STEP 2. Give the junior or senior high school students one of the communication scenarios below.

STEP 3. Ask students to reflect on what sort of communication style they would use by default? Would they be:

  • aggressive?
  • assertive?
  • passive-aggressive?
  • passive?

STEP 4. Use the handout from the “What’s your Style?” communication activity (Lesson 6) and the “Communication Strategies to be Assertive” activity (Lesson 7)

Ask students to brainstorm what a different communication style might look like in this scenario.

Make sure to refer back to the communication style handouts to double-check that their performance matches what that communication style actually is.

  • What makes aggressive behavior, aggressive?
  • What are the criteria for passive-aggressive behavior?
  • What makes something assertive?
  • What would an assertive response look like in this communication scenario?

Make sure to remind students, that being assertive doesn’t mean you “win” the conversation: It means you set personal boundaries and stick to them.

Sometimes, being assertive means you don’t get what you want. Or, the relationship breaks down.

But this is an important part of developing self-awareness, self-management, and relationship skills.

Being able to set healthy boundaries for ourselves is tough stuff – for high school students, for elementary students, for adults.

12 High School Communication Scenarios to explore healthy communication skills:

  1. You get blamed for something when you did nothing wrong.
  2. You want to ask someone out, but you’re too nervous.
  3. Someone asks you out, but you’re not interested.
  4. Your best friend / boy friend / girl friend / partner wants to do something that you really don’t want to do.
  5. There’s a rumour, photo or screenshot going around about you (or your friend).
  6. A friend needs help, but you don’t want them to get them in trouble.
  7. Your friend is mad at you and ignores / excludes you.
  8. A friend tells you a secret and confides in you, but you know you have to break the secret.
  9. Your friend gets a better mark (makes the sports team / gets the part in the school play / does better) even though you really wanted to win.
  10. People are jerks, sometimes.
  11. Your parents are spliting up.
  12. Your parents (guardians / people who buy you cereal) don’t like your friends

Teaching communication lesson plans / skills / activities to high school students:

  • Place the context first: The end goal is to learn how to communicate more effectively during tough conversations. (A tough conversation is where both parties are emotionally triggered and the outcome of the conversation is important to both sides.)
  • Have fun with the communication activities in the first part – acknowledge that communication activities can be simplistic when done in isolation. But, they prove a point by isolating specific components of communication in an extreme way. (Yes, we’ll never have to describe a drawing to someone else in a different room, but what can we learn about communicating clearly, anyway? How could we communicate better in a way that gets the message across?)
  • Focus on the workplace video examples. You can be assertive and do everything right sometimes… and still not get your point across. Then, what?
  • Spend more time looking at communication styles – being assertive is tough. But, learning how to get your point across without sacrificing what’s important to you… that’s a game-changer that can help us in relationships, in jobs, and when life goes wrong.

Ask them to come up with a better list of communication scenarios for high school students.

Sometimes, we need to throw the lesson plan away if things aren’t working and the students aren’t engaged.

If students scoff at the communication scene because it’s not realistic, then challenge them to come up with a better scene from their lived experience.

Mental Health Note: You may need to set boundaries to keep things appropriate for the classroom.

  • The real world can be a tough place.
  • As teachers, we’re never really fully aware of what our students may have gone through.
  • Some of our students may have undisclosed (or undiscovered) PTSD, anxiety or mental health struggles from serious or traumatic experiences.
  • While we want to give high school students an opportunity to explore communication scenarios that are relevant to them, we also don’t want to trigger or single out students who are going through personal challenges themselves.

Here are some communication skills activities for high school students that are in the unit:

  • Taboo: Get classmates to guess a word without using certain words to describe the object. This focuses on expressing meaning in different ways.
  • Describe the Drawing: Students have to describe a drawing to their partner who has to draw it on a piece of paper. What’s the catch? The partner never gets to see the original image. This communication skills game focuses on active listening and asking questions. Students learn that clarifying understanding is a vital part of getting your point across. Both the sender and the receiver can play a role in clarifying information.
  • Counting Numbers: The class has to count numbers starting from one but they can only speak one at a time, they can’t use any gestures or pre-plan the order in which they go. This communication game focuses on communicating through non-verbal facial expressions – who goes next?

For other communication lesson plans / skills / games for high school students, check the big list of communication activities.

Understanding HOW to communicate effectively requires an understanding of the communication process

There are many communication models out there.

In this 6Cs Communication Lesson Plan, students explore communication as a two-way process (and not a one-way monologue.)

There are 4 basic parts to the communication process:

  1. a sender
  2. a receiver
  3. the message, and
  4. feedback

Communication Breakdown lesson video

Understanding where communication can break down means recognizing that communication is a cyclical process

Watch this short YouTube video to get a better understanding of How Communication Works:

These communication lesson plans provides a framework for students to analyze how to communicate more effectively by thinking about where things go wrong.

  • Did I send the message unclearly?
  • Did I send the message well, but was there noise that messed the message up?
  • Was the message sent well, but the receiver didn’t understand the message – maybe because of a hidden bias or stereotype?
  • Did I send the message clearly and it was received correctly, but maybe there simply wasn’t any feedback to let me know one way or another?

Strategies on how to communicate effectively

As a middle school teacher, I used to mark oral communication based on things like how much a student participated in the conversation, or shared ideas with the group.

But, actually, an effective communication process is more than just talking or presenting.

You can talk or write and still be ineffective if the other person doesn’t understand your message clearly.

Just because you send the message doesn’t mean the other person received the message or understood what you meant.

Being effective at communication is a cornerstone of so much in life. Our students need to know:

  • How to communicate more clearly in their personal relationships (with friends, authority figures, parents, classmates, and random strangers)
  • How to communicate effectively regardless of the medium – whether it’s oral communication, written communication, non-verbal communication or digital communication
  • Communicating effectively is a learned skill. Some of us might pick up these skills more than others, and not even realize what we’re doing.
  • Healthy communication is key to building lasting relationships.
  • If we have a growth mindset, then we can realize that we can try certain techniques to communicate more clearly. (Read this article about why we need a growth mindset.)

We can use communication activities for students to help them realize that they’re saying one thing… but the way they’re saying it is sending an entirely different message!

Strategies on how to be assertive during tough conversations

A tough conversation is one where both sides feel strongly about the issue. The stakes matter and this is where communication can break down.

Being assertive means recognizing the core things that are important to you that you can’t budge on. These are deal-breakers in a relationship. For example, if one person wants kids and the other person doesn’t, that issue is probably a deal-breaker.

If we teach students about different communication styles, we can help them reflect on what their default personal communication style is. Knowing about communication styles might help students choose one to help them protect their boundaries and get what they want.

  • We can teach these life skills by using various communication activities for students.
  • Lesson plans on communication can include strategies on how to be more assertive during tough conversations. Students don’t have to be aggressive, passive-aggressive, or just plain passive.
  • If we give students criteria about the differences in communication styles, this might help them reflect and shift strategies, depending on the situation.

Communication Lesson Plan PRO TIP: Being assertive doesn’t mean you have to stand your ground on every single issue.

Sometimes, we might choose not to argue or negotiate over every little issue with our team members. We can choose to let things go as long as those issues don’t cross our personal limits and boundaries.

Sometimes students will communicate in a group and participate, but that doesn’t mean they have effective communication strategies.

  • Are they aggressively taking control of the conversation, making sure their points are heard and their ideas are implemented?
  • Do they simply agree with everything and go with the flow even though they know it’s not a good idea – but they’re afraid of conflict?
  • How often do they disagree with an idea on the inside but because they don’t want to directly confront the other person, they just find a passive-aggressive way to move slowly on the issue (in silent protest) Or, maybe they’re grumbling behind people’s backs?

Just because a team gets something done, doesn’t mean there was true collaboration.

Just because a group of students talk with each other, doesn’t mean there is effective communication happening, either…

Group work doesn’t always mean people are communicating clearly or effectively, and if we can show our students the difference between effective and ineffective communication, we can help them to become better communicators.

So, here are a few communication activities for students to help them understand where their message might be lost.

Effective communication lesson plans for Elementary, Middle, and High School students: KEY CONCEPTS:

In this package, we provide over 2 weeks of effective communication lessons to do with your class.

Communication is about imparting or exchanging information. It’s not just oral communication lessons that we have to think about.

We also need to teach students that communicating clearly and communicating assertively in tough conversations is NOT always easy, but we can improve by using strategies!

It’s one thing to tell someone something. But, when you’re arguing, are they really listening to you?

Here are four key concepts to include in Effective Communication Lesson Plans:

1. There are four basic parts to communication

  • A sender (who encodes a message),
  • A receiver (who decodes the message)
  • The message itself (which can be verbal, non-verbal, visual, digital, etc.)
  • And feedback from the receiver (which gives the sender information about how well the message was received, if at all.)

2. There are four communication styles in tough conversations

A tough conversation is where both people want different things, and the issue is important to both parties.

Communication is easy if both players want the same thing. Things get tough when we want different things.

Then the question becomes how effectively can we communicate our needs and our boundaries so that we get what we want, but also protect our personal boundaries.

There are 4 communication styles in difficult conversations:

  • Assertive
  • Aggressive
  • Passive-Aggressive
  • Passive

3. We can use communication strategies to be more clear and assertive. 

Communication can break down at different parts or because we have different perspectives that affect the way we interpret messages. Strategies can help us overcome miscommunication. They are building blocks that we use to get our message across or to achieve our goals when we communicate with others.

In this package, we:

  • Explore communication through 11 different activities and discuss where communication breaks down, and what strategies might help to communicate more clearly.
  • Explore the difference between assertive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and passive behaviour, and apply our understanding to multiple scenarios.
  • Introduce students to the 4 basic parts of communication through a short video.
  • Explore assertive / passive scenarios through video clips.
  • Allow for deeper exploration of the concept of “Communication” by playing with the term using a graphic organizer (the Frayer Model of understanding.)

4. We can change the way we communicate

This is the idea behind a growth mindset – that through effort and strategies, we can improve. Effective communication is not something are born knowing how to do. It’s a skill that we can nurture and develop over time.

Effective Communication Activities for Students – CHAPTER BIG IDEA:

After this chapter, students will be able to explain that Communication is about:

  1. sender encoding a message to a receiver who decodes the message and then provides some feedback.
  2. Assertive behaviour is when you protect your boundaries, but also respectfully consider the other person’s point of view and try to come up with a solution that works for everyone (but doesn’t compromise your personal limits.)
  3. People with different lived experiences / cultural background will interpret the same message differently. We need to consider local and global perspectives when communicating.

Students will have the opportunity to:

  1. EXPERIENCE classroom activities to explore how communication breaks down
  2. WATCH examples of communication where people are assertive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, or passive and analyze the situations to come up with alternatives.
  3. UNDERSTAND what “collaboration” is by using a vocabulary building graphic organizer (Frayer model) to brainstorm features of collaboration, examples and non-examples of collaborating with others, and finally narrow down essential characteristics of the word.


We communicate all the time, but students don’t always understand HOW to communicate more clearly or HOW to be ASSERTIVE and protect their personal boundaries.

So, we’ve put together OVER 2 WEEKS of lesson plans to do with your class to help your students understand how communication works (sender, receiver, message, feedback), how communication breaks down, and how to communicate more ASSERTIVELY by using strategies during tough conversations.


  • 256 slides in POWERPOINT and GOOGLE SLIDE format
  • 97 page lesson plan PDF with 12 DIFFERENT lessons (45-55 min each.)
  • 2 page graphic organizer to analyze debate questions (HANDOUT + sample answer key)
  • 2 page Vocabulary Building Graphic Organizer and Venn diagram (HANDOUT + sample answer key)
  • 1 page Communication Learning Skills SELF-EVALUATION handout
  • 2 page Communication Review Assessment – What did you learn? (6 short answer questions + sample answer key.)

We just saved you an incredible amount of prep work!

And the slides and handouts look legit good. Just sayin’.

Screenshot of 3 slides: Teach your students how to be more assertive!
Save HOURS of prep work. Get the lesson package

Who are these Effective Communication Lesson Plans for?

Teachers could use these communication lesson plans to introduce the concept that communication is a skill. And, we can choose to use strategies to communicate more clearly.

Communication Lesson Plans for Homeroom teachers / Advisory Class

  • Do this package in the first month of class, to set the gold standard ideal for what good communication looks like.
  • Throughout the year, when students are having tough moments, you could explore whether they were being assertive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, or passive and this becomes a framework to help them communicate more clearly, especially when they’re in conflict or upset.

Communication Lesson Plans for English Language Arts teachers (English teachers / ESL / ELL teachers)

  • Reading Lesson – Reading notes about 4 communicate styles and using criteria to come up with assertive responses. (Activity 11)
  • Writing Lesson – Creating memes (Activity 9) and assertive responses (Activity 11)
  • Oral Communication Lesson–  (Activity 1-11)
    • Express meaning in multiple ways
    • Ask questions or listen actively
    • Verbal communication
    • Non-Verbal communication
    • Visual communication
    • Clearly express yourself
    • Respect different perspectives – local / global
  • Media Literacy Lesson– inferring meaning from emojis and memes (Activity 9) and inferring communication styles and meaning from videos (Videos 2-8)
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy –  students get a chance to:
    • List communication strategies and communication styles. (REMEMBER)
    • Explain communication styles (UNDERSTAND)
    • Watch new videos / scenarios and justify which communication style is predominant (APPLY)
    • Compare / contrast different communication styles (ANALYZE)
    • Justify an opinion by appraising the evidence supporting and against a specific communication style for a given video (EVALUATE)
    • Some students will create a deep understanding (ah-ha moment) about the subtle differences between the 4 communication styles (CREATE)

Guidance Teachers / Life Skills / Social-Emotional Learning

Healthy Communication is a key component of building Relationship Skills and Social-Emotional Learning.

Use this communication curriculum to help students

  • communicate their needs, wants and hard limits more effectively.
  • develop positive relationships with themselves, their friends and family, their teachers and classmates, etc.
  • resist peer pressure and societal pressure by communicating assertively.
  • stand up for others and communicate as an active bystander.

School leaders / Admin

Principals, Admin, Division Leaders) could use these communication lessons in their schools to create a common language and exploration of growth mindset.

  • This unit provides a systematic way for a grade, division, or school to explore learning skills / character development as a framework for delivering curriculum.
  • Communication is often taken for granted. If all students are exposed to this framework, it makes it easier for teachers and students to try to be more assertive and to communicate more clearly.
  • Doing the same (Frayer model) vocabulary building graphic organizer provides a common tool / framework that students and teachers can build around in other areas (i.e. math concepts, grammar concepts, science concepts, etc).
  • This unit provides a systematic way for a grade, division, or school to explore learning skills / character development as a framework for delivering curriculum.
  • Communication is often taken for granted. If all students are exposed to this framework, it makes it easier for teachers and students to try to be more assertive and to communicate more clearly.
  • Doing the same (Frayer model) vocabulary building graphic organizer provides a common tool / framework that students and teachers can build around in other areas (i.e. math concepts, grammar concepts, science concepts, etc).

Ultimately, these communication lessons are meant to kick off a year / lifetime of discussion, as opposed to being a one-off activity.

  • If all classes start off with the same approach, then throughout the year, as teachers do different activities, you could still connect it back to concepts of communication.
  • During group work, students could be asked if they are being assertive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, or passive. Which strategy might help them to better communicate and get the learning done?
Screenshot of handouts, answer key, and communication lesson plans - 199 pages
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We base this schedule on a 50 minute period and provide around 40-45 minutes of content per lesson. Depending on your teaching style, how often you see your class, and class dynamics, you may find that you can get through all 12 lessons in 10 days… or it stretches out to a month.

Communication activities for students – PRO TIPS:

  • If you’re short on time: pick and choose which communication games to do with your class, and which videos to watch. (You don’t have to use everything in these communication lesson plans – although you can!)
  • Watch the video yourself about the Four Basic Parts of Communication to get an idea of where the unit is going in terms of Sender, Receiver, Message, and Feedback. This way you can paraphrase student answers from this perspective to help them make connections later on:
  • In Part 1, we have 11 different ice breakers / activities that highlight different aspects of communication.

OPTION 1: Do all of the ice breakers / communication games in a row

  • Thereby developing classroom spirit and finding patterns in communication.

OPTION 2: Do one or two icebreakers / communication games each day

  • Each class could start with a different icebreaker each day before getting into some of the more complex and deep conversations around communication styles (assertive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, passive)
  • By spreading it out, it’s not like they’re learning a bunch of games in one day.


Here are 11 different communication activities and communication games for students to explore how communication works and why it breaks down.

If we understand the communication process, and problems with communication, we can reflect on how we can improve communication so it doesn’t break down (and the message gets across clearly.)

  1. Who Am I (Express meaning in multiple ways, ask questions, listen actively, verbal communication) – oral communication lesson
  2. Charades (Express meaning in multiple ways, non-verbal communication)
  3. Pictionary (Express meaning in multiple ways, visual communication)
  4. Taboo (Express meaning in multiple ways, verbal communication) – oral communication lesson
  5. Follow the Leader (Express meaning in multiple ways, non-verbal communication)
  6. Counting Numbers (“Listen” actively to understand what is communicated, non-verbal communication)
  7. Twenty Questions (Express meaning in multiple ways, ask questions / listen actively; verbal communication)
  8. Describe the Drawing (Express meaning in multiple ways, ask questions / listen actively; clearly express yourself; verbal communication)
  9. Metaphors and Symbols. Memes and Emojis. (Express meaning in multiple ways, express yourself; written communication, virtual spaces)
  10. What’s your style? (Express meaning in multiple ways, ask questions / listen actively; clearly express yourself; respect different perspectives; verbal communication)
  11. Strategies to be Assertive / Practice being assertive (Express meaning in multiple ways, ask questions / listen actively; clearly express yourself; respect different perspectives; verbal communication)

Communication Lesson Plans – PART 1. EXPERIENCE

DAY / LESSON 1 (50 min) Communication Games for Students/Activities Part 1 (slides 1-20)

  • Introduction to Communication (slides 1-5) – 5 min
  • #1 Who am I Communication Game (slides 6-10) – 15 min
  • #2 Charades Communication Game (slides 11-15) – 15 min
  • #3 Pictionary Communication Game (slides 16-20) – 15 min

DAY / LESSON 2 (45 min) Communication Games for Students/Activities Part 2 (slides 21 – 34)

  • #4 Taboo Communication Game (slides 21-25) – 15 min
  • #5 Follow the leader Communication Game (slides 26-29) – 15 min
  • #6 Counting numbers Communication Game (slides 30-34) – 15 min

DAY / LESSON 3 (45 min) Communication Games for Students/Activities Part 3 (slides 35 – 52)

  • #7 Twenty Questions Communication Game (slides 35-39) – 15 min
  • #8 Describe the Drawing Communication Game (slides 40-52) – 30 min
    • Round 1 (slide 40-45)
    • Round 2 (slide 46-48)
    • Round 3 (slide 49-50)
    • Round 4 (slide 51-52)

DAY / LESSON 4 (50 min) Communication Games for Students/Activities Part 4 (slides 53 – 85)

  • #9 Communication Activity Part 1: Metaphors and Symbols (slides 53 – 63) – 20 min
    • Introduction (slides 53-54)
    • What is a metaphor (slides 55-60)
    • What is a symbol? (slides 61-63)
    • Emojis (slides 64-71) – 10 min
    • Meme (slide 72-85) – 20 min
      • What is a meme? (slide 72-76)
      • Explain the meme
        • Success Kid (slide 77)
        • Jack Sparrow Being Chased (slide 78-81)
        • Grumpy Cat (slide 82-85)

DAY / LESSON 5 (45 min) Communication Games for Students/Activities Part 5 (slides 86 – 89)

  • #9 Communication Activity Part 2: Create your own meme (slide 86-89) – 45 min

DAY / LESSON 6 (50 min) Communication Games for Students/Activities Part 6 (slide 90 – 152)

  • #10 What’s your style? Communication Activity (slide 90-115) – 20 min
  • #11 Styles of Communication Communication Activity (slide 116 – 152) – 30 min

DAY / LESSON 7 (50 min) Communication Games for Students/Activities Part 7 (slides 153 – 170)

  • Communication Strategies to be assertive / practice (slide 153 -170) 50 min
    • Review assertive communication style (slide 153-159)
    • Strategies (slides 160-169)
    • Practice handout (slide 170)

Communication Lesson Plans – PART 2. WATCH

DAY / LESSON 8 (50 min)  Videos Part 1  (slides 171 – 187)

  • How we communicate Video #1 (slide 171 – 175) 25 min
    • Minds on – What are the different parts of communications (slide 171-173) – 5 min
    • Watch video – identify 4 parts of communication (slide 174-176) – 10 min
    • How could communication break down (slide 177 – 178) – 5 min
    • What could you do to prevent communication break down (slide 179) – 5 min
  • Review (slides 180-181) – 5 min
  • Back to the Future Video #2 (slide 182-187) – 20 min

DAY / LESSON 9 (55 min)  Videos Part 2 (slides 188 – 216)

  • Passive Aggression Video #3 (slide 188-189) 15 min
  • Office Space Video #4 (slide 190 – 206) 20 min
    • Watch the video / discussion – 5 min
    • Scenario A – 5 min
    • Scenario B – 5 min
    • Scenario C – 5 min
  • Communication Strategies for when life is hard (slide 207 – 216) 15 min

DAY / LESSON 10 (60 min) Videos Part 3 (slides 217 – 233)

  • Communicating differences (slide 217 –  233) 60 min
    • Wrong Flower Video #5 (slides 219 – 222) 15 min
    • Golf Video #6 (slide 223 – 226) 15 min
    • Eels Video #7 (slide 227 – 230)  15 min
    • Live Theatre Point of View Video #8 (slide 231 – 233) 15 min

Communication Lesson Plans – PART 3. UNDERSTAND

DAY / LESSON 11 (40 min) Vocabulary Builder (slides 234 – 250)

  • Introduce Part 3 / Minds on (slides 234 – 236)
  • Understand (Vocabulary Builder) (slide 237 – 238)
  • Filling out the graphic organizer (slides 239 – 242)
  • Revising graphic organizer (slides 243-247)
  • Summary (slides 248-250)

DAY / LESSON 12 – Self Evaluation / Review 40 minutes total Self Evaluation / Review – (slides 251-256)

  • Student Self Evaluation (slide 251-255) – 10 min
  • Chapter Review Test (slide 256) – 30 min

HERE’S WHAT YOU GET when you download the zipped file:

THE READ ME file in the PREVIEW file section tells you exactly what you get when you buy these communication lesson plans.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment below!

We provide handouts:

  • 5 handout packages of different activity cards: Who am I, Charades, Pictionary, Taboo, Copy this Drawing
  • Create-your-own meme activity handout
  • “What’s your Communication style?” student survey
  • DIFFERENTIATED versions of a communication styles handout + answer key
  • “Practice being Assertive” handout + answer key
  • Vocabulary Builder graphic organizer (to develop a deeper understanding of what Communication means.)
  • Student Self Evaluation of their “CommunicationLearning Skill
  • Chapter Review assessment and answer key of possible answers

We provide 3 different versions of the lesson slideshow (256 slides):

  • A link to the Google Slideshow so you can show it right away. (Get started in seconds!)
  • A link to a version of the Google Slideshow that you can make a copy of the presentation. (Edit the content to fit your exact classroom needs.)
  • A powerpoint file that you can download (PPTX) and modify. (Edit the presentation to fit your needs, and use the presentation when the internet is down!)
Edit the files - Screenshot of Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Google Slide
Save HOURS of prep work with these communication lesson plans. Get the lesson package

What communication lessons do you use to teach effective communication strategies to your students?

What kind of communication lesson plans do you like to use in your classroom?