Conversation skills can be very difficult to teach to student with social learning challenges. This game is a helpful tool in teaching some basic skills in conversation. It is ideal for students who are already able to formulate simple questions and statements either verbally or through the use of AAC. Here are the game instructions to give you a better idea of the targeted skills.
1. Give each student in the group one of each of the conversation manipulatives (i.e., Comments, Follow-up Questions, Add a Thought).
2. Each student draws 2 cards from the topics pile.
3. Choose a student to go first.
4. The student takes his/her turn by placing one of his/her topic cards on the topic star board. He/she should then make a statement about the topic. For example, if the topic is sports, the student might say, “I played basketball yesterday.”
5. The other students in the group can now make comments, ask follow-up questions, or add thoughts about the topic.
6. As the student participate in the conversation using these types of communication exchanges, the students should raise the corresponding conversation manipulative in the air. This might slow down the conversation, but once they get the hang of it, it will flow more naturally!
7. As the students participate in the conversation, the instructor should reward the students with the corresponding Talking Token.
8. Once each student has received at least one of each type of token for a given topic, the instructor can have the students switch topics by choosing another student to place a topic card in the center.
9. The game continues until all topics have been used.***Topic cards with a blank line are to be generated by the student. You can either have the student state the topic aloud or write it with a dry erase marker.
***You can play the game with no winner, or tally the number of tokens as the game goes, with the student who receives the most tokens declared the winner.
The game is most successful with 3-4 students. The graphics and topics are appropriate for students with social language challenges of all ages. Please let me know if you have any questions!