- Sarah Gough
- Monday, February 22, 2021
First graders will continue practicing the foundational conversation skills of active listening, taking turns, speaking clearly, and recalling information covered in Communication Part 1, and start building the skills of researching information and expressing their ideas in different and more independent ways.
How will I know if my First Grader has met the SC ELA Standard for Communication?
- They practice taking turns listening to others and speaking clearly
- They can conduct research, gathering information from a variety of sources and then clearly expressing their ideas about what they learned
- They explore how ideas or topics are shown in different formats and how those formats might influence understanding
- They can identify a speaker's purpose as well as notice what the speaker does to keep listeners engaged
- They use appropriate images and illustrations to support discussions and presentations and clarify thoughts and ideas
Activities and Multimedia
- Practice good conversation skills while you learn about and bond with your child using a set of Family Table Topics cards. Ask follow-up questions to help them expand their answers to include supporting information.
- Play charades, or see if you can spend a certain length of time communicating without using any words. This will help hone those important non-verbal communication techniques that will help keep the attention of listeners and get their points across.
- Watch this Speaking and Listening video from BrainPop, Jr, then play their recommended activity of "Simon Says and Says" to help develop good listening and memory skills. Start by giving one direction at a time, and after a few rounds, add in a second direction, i.e. “Simon says pat your head three times and then jump twice.” Increase the challenge, and the silliness factor, as you add more and more directions.
- Watch and analyze a variety of speeches, both historical and contemporary. Discuss how the speeches were delivered and how they were effective or not.
The child in the video above is an exceptional communicator. Don't worry if your student isn't quite as polished with public speaking -- I'm not either! But this is a great example of all the communication standards your first grader will be working to develop: gathering information from a variety of sources; using appropriate images and illustrations to support a discussion or presentation; speaking clearly to express ideas; speaking with a purpose and using techniques to keep listeners engaged.
Watch it once, then go back to watch it again after asking your child to observe and think about the information and how the speaker delivered it. What do they think the purpose of Senna's speech is -- to inform? Entertain? Motivate? Persuade? How did she keep the interest of her audience -- body language? Eye contact? Humor? What are some different sources of information she used to learn about her topic? Did the images she used help get her point across? Why or why not?
Make it Your Own
What does your child really love? What are they interested in? What else are they studying right now for science or history? Has anything happened recently in your day-to-day life or the news that prompted them to ask some questions? Use their current interests as a springboard for research and presentation skills.
For example, I've been reading the Percy Jackson series aloud to my first grader this year. This has prompted a lot of interest in Greek mythology, so we could conduct research from a variety of sources about both the myths and realities of ancient Greece. We might take a look at what Daily Life in Ancient Greece was like, along with this Treasury of Greek Mythology which links the ancient stories to real constellations, history, geography, and culture. We might listen to some episodes of the Greeking Out podcast from National Geographic Kids, watch some TED-Ed Myths from Around the World videos, and take a virtual tour of the Acropolis.
After taking in all of that information, there are lots of different ways he could practice communicating what he learned.
- He could write and illustrate a little book about whatever aspect he found most interesting, like Senna did with what she learned about sea lions.
- He could make up and perform a song like the man she mentioned who turned his food allergy experience into music to help educate others.
- He could give a persuasive oral argument about which ancient Greek god or monster is the best and why.
- He could draw a picture of what he's hearing and imagining as I read a myth aloud, and then use it as a visual aid to re-tell the story in his own words.
You certainly don't have to turn every interest into a big research project, though! There are easy daily opportunities to help your child practice their communication skills, simply by following their interests, having conversations, and modeling effective speaking skills such as making eye contact, and showing interest with your voice, body language, and facial expressions.
Visit Richland Library's SC Education Standards page for lots of information and activities to help school age children meet educational standards in math, science, reading, and more.
Books to Read
The titles below will help you and your student understand and develop good communication skills, covering the topics of being a good listener, understanding and using nonverbal communication techniques, giving a variety of presentations, having good discussions, and learning from some great speeches. Want us to pull books for you? Contact us at 803-799-9084 and request to have books sent to your nearest Richland Library location.