Speech Bubbles for Social Communication - Think It or Say It

Created ByJake Dorr
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This simple one-pager is both a lesson in how to navigate conversation and a plan for students to make their own role-playing tools. The descriptions help students with developmental delays to understand why veering off-topic or interrupting can be unproductive for conversation. Then--when printed out and cut along the dotted lines, students can fasten each shape ('thought bubble' and 'speech bubble') to a ruler or craft/popsicle stick so they can be used as props in actual conversation. Teachers and paraprofessionals can model the use of these props: generally a person must use context clues in order to show the correct response.

Examples:

Was I just asked a question? Then I need to use my speech bubble to give an answer.

Is it somebody else's turn to speak? Then I need to use my thought bubble to stay on topic and be a good listener.

Do I have a comment that is helpful and kind? Then I can say it out loud!

Do I have an idea that is hurtful or off-topic? I'd better keep that as a silent thought...

These lessons can be informative and fun! The total sequence from introducing the concepts of thought bubble vs. speech bubble, to then role-playing various scenarios and having students participate with their props--can happen over multiple sessions. Conversation is a life skill that will take lots of repetition and mistakes are okay.

to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.
Build on others’ talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.
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