Let's Discuss How to Discuss!

Contributor: Jennifer Blanchard. Lesson ID: 13912

Talking with others is something that every person in the world must do! But did you know some people are better at it than others? This lesson will make sure you are one of the good talkers!


Verbal Communication

English / Language Arts
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Watch the video below made by a fifth-grade girl named Caroline.

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  • Have you ever had someone interrupt you before?
  • How did it make you feel?

In this lesson, you will learn how to talk with others respectfully.

  • After all, who doesn't want to be respectful?
  • What did Ella learn in the video on interrupting?

It is not only important to allow others to share their thoughts, it is also considerate. If you do not learn how to speak in discussions, you might find yourself accidentally interrupting others!

  • What exactly is a discussion?

A discussion is when two or more people are talking about the same topic to share their thoughts and ideas.

There are different types of discussions that we can have. How you act and talk during a discussion will change based on the type you are having.

Look at two common types of discussions you have daily and see how they differ.

  Discussion with Friends or Family   Discussion with Other Students or Teachers While Learning
  » can talk naturally   » may think more about your words before talking
  » usually don't need to be as formal or polite   » usually more formal and less laid-back
  » Even if it's just a casual and fun discussion, you can still learn things   » will have a purpose (trying to teach or learn something or think differently about it)
  » can be silly   » may be more serious


We have discussions for many reasons. Talking about ideas with others allows you to learn, teach more about a topic, or enjoy talking with someone.

People should always follow some rules or expectations when having discussions, especially when the discussion type is more serious, like those with other students or teachers while learning.

We have these rules so that everyone feels respected in the discussion and to help the conversation go more smoothly without problems!

Take a look at some of the main rules, what they mean, and how to follow them.

  Rule or Expectation   What It Means
  » Gain the floor in a respectful way.   » When you talk in the discussion, ensure it switches to your turn nicely.
  Ways to Follow the Rule  
  » Stay on task. Talk about the topic - or something similar - just being discussed.
  » Don't interrupt or talk over the person speaking before you. Wait for them to finish their sentence or idea.

Try starting your sentence with:

  • I agree with ...
  • I disagree with ...
  • I like how ...
  • I have a question about ...
  • I am interested in ...
  • Has anyone thought about ...

  Rule or Expectation   What It Means
  » Listen to others with care.   » Be kind when it is someone else's turn to talk.
  Ways to Follow the Rule  
  » You can ask questions after they finish speaking.
  » Face each other and make eye contact while they are speaking.

Stop doing other work.


Focus and think about what they are saying.


Show that you can understand their thoughts or feelings.


Let everyone (who wants to!) get a turn to talk.

  Rule or Expectation   What It Means
  » Prove what you say with evidence.   » Back up what you say so people believe you.
  Ways to Follow the Rule  

If you say something, explain WHY.

  • Can you refer to text evidence in a book?
  • Can you refer to a specific time something happened to you?

  Rule or Expectation   What It Means
  » Be positive.   » Find ways to turn bad or negative things into something good.
  Ways to Follow the Rule  
  » Look for the good in what is being discussed.
  » If you have something negative to say, try to do so in a kind way or offer a way to make it better.
  » Use a gentle voice and tone.

Before you talk, ask yourself:

  • Is this true?
  • Is it helpful?
  • Is it inspiring?

  • Are you ready to practice in the Got It? section?
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