Key stage 4 communication workshops

Resources

Talk The Talk Oracy Resources

If your students have completed a Talk The Talk workshop, you can find accompanying resources by clicking the relevant link on the left hand side of this page.

On this page you can also scroll through oracy resources aimed at developing Visual, Vocal and Verbal modes of communication. There are also activities to develop Group Discussion and Listening Skills.

All of the resources below take less than ten minutes – so are ideal to use at the start or end of a lesson – supporting the development of the oracy skills of your students and your whole-school oracy culture.

Pick Your Workshop:
  • Talk About Transition
  • Talk About Communication
  • Talk About Communication Plus
  • Talk About The Future
  • Talk The Talk Teacher CPD
  • Visual Communication
  • Vocal Activities
  • Verbal Communication
  • Group Activities
  • Listening Activities
Oracy Resources for the Classroom

This PDF contains oracy resources for the classroom aimed at developing visual, vocal and verbal modes of communication. It also includes activities to develop group discussion and listening skills.

Talk About Transition Follow Up Lesson 1: Talk About My New School

This follow-up lesson encourages students to start talking with their peers about their new school now that they have settled in.

Talk About Transition Follow Up Lesson 2: Talk About My Achievements

This follow-up lesson encourages students to start talking with their peers about their achievements and what they are proud of since they started in their new school.

NEW - Talk About Transition Follow Up Lesson 3: Talk About My Goals

This follow-up lesson encourages students to start talking with their peers about their goals for the year now that they have settled in.

NEW - Talk About Transition Follow Up Lesson 4: Talk About My First Year

This follow-up lesson encourages students to start talking with their peers – reflecting on their first year in their new school and their thoughts on moving to Year 8.

Talk About Communication & Talk About Communication Plus – Lesson 1: Presentation Skills

This follow up lesson focuses on a revision of the presentation skills needed to be a good speaker. Using one of President Obama's famous speeches, students will identify and discuss the visual, vocal, verbal and persuasive language techniques employed.

Talk About Communication & Talk About Communication Plus – Lesson 2: Structure & Stories

This follow-up lesson focuses on the structuring of presentations, essays and exam answers and understanding the need to have a key-message for all of these applications. It also looks at the use of personal stories and anecdotes and the types of speech students may wish to make as well as dealing with nerves.

Talk About Communication & Talk About Communication Plus – Lesson 3: Structure & Stories Top Tips

This follow-up lesson focuses on the application of the Talk The Talk model within an interview situation. Students will explore and discuss positive behaviour techniques for preparing and performing during an interview.

Talk About Communication Lesson 4: Persuading Parents

This follow-up lesson focuses on students structuring their own opinions and positions by examining a teenager trying to persuade her mother that she should be allowed to attend a friend's party despite the current pressure of her schoolwork.

Talk About Communication & Talk About Communication Plus – Lesson 5: Teacher Trouble

This follow-up lesson focuses on students writing and presenting a persuasive argument by examining a situation in which a teenager is confronted with her poor performance in her English GCSE coursework.

Talk About Communication & Talk About Communication Plus – Lesson 6: Punishing Parents

The follow-up lesson focuses on students structuring and presenting a response to a parent in an attempt to soften a punishment by examining a situation in which a teenager is being punished following a poor performance in a school assessment.

Talk About Communication Scheme of Work

If you would like a PDF of the Scheme of Work to accompany the six Talk About Communication Follow Up Lessons - you can download it here.

Talk About The Future Follow Up Lesson 1

This follow-up lesson encourages students to consider their life experiences and explore how storytelling can be used within the interview situation.

Talk About The Future Follow Up Lesson 2

This follow-up lesson encourages students to identify how their life experiences have equipped them with a skill set, and how anecdotes can engage an interview panel and highlight skills, strengths and experiences.

Coronavirus Oracy Resources - Supporting Teachers & Parents

Our team of trainers is gearing up to be back working in schools supporting students with their communication skills - but we still want to help anyone who is looking to help children with their oracy skills. We have pulled together some oracy activities and games that can be used in the classroom or played at home with students of all ages.

Body Language Awareness - The Chair Exercise

Ask a volunteer to sit in a chair at the front of the room and instruct them to do absolutely nothing for thirty seconds.

Inform the remaining students to observe and be prepared to comment on what they see. After the time has elapsed, ask the group to feedback on their observations – prompting if necessary for comments on what they saw, both physically and emotionally.

Ask the volunteer to comment on how the exercise made them feel. Should you wish – repeat the exercise with another volunteer and corresponding discussion. Ask of the group – Is it possible to do absolutely nothing?

The feedback and discussion should establish that it is not possible, and inform all students that they are always giving off visual signals that link to their emotions – signals that can be read by others in a variety of life situations e.g. Training/University/Job Interviews – and therefore, one must be aware of the signals we are expressing visually.

Eyeball to Eyeball

The aim of this exercise is to raise an awareness of and improve eye contact when speaking in front of others.

Ask a volunteer to talk about anything – it could be subject specific, an anecdote or simply about what they had for breakfast. The speaker aims to make eye contact with everyone else in the classroom as they speak. When an audience member registers that eye contact has been made, they raise they hand, or stand up / sit down.

Teachers can introduce a competitive element by timing students to see who can accomplish this in the fastest time. This exercise should be time specific and fast moving – the faster the better!

This exercise can be employed to ascertain knowledge retention after a specific subject has been covered in the curriculum by making this the topic of each talk.

Visual Line Up

This exercise is designed to encourage visual communication – and be a fun end to a lesson.

Without speaking, or making any noise – students are asked to line up according to a certain criteria determined by the teacher. The criteria can be simple, such as shoe size, or requiring visual decision making, such as hair colour. This exercise can be repeated several times and often provides a way to encourage people to make decisions, communicate visually and take on different leadership roles.

Fillers Beware

This exercise is designed to promote fluent talk, and avoid the use of filler phrases such as ‘like’, ‘you know what I mean’, ‘err...’ and ‘umm...’

Ask a volunteer to talk about anything for one minute – it could be subject specific, an anecdote or simply about what they had for breakfast.

Students are given one point for every second they speak for, but will lose a point for every ‘filler’ phrase they use. A student who speaks for sixty seconds without any filler phrases will score 60 points. A student who runs out of material at forty five seconds, and uses five ‘filler’ phrases will score 40 points.

This exercise can be employed to ascertain knowledge retention after a specific subject has been covered in the curriculum.

Understanding Tone

Ask all students to stand and say ‘O’ – following your directions below to highlight the importance of voice inflection and tone to the meaning of words.

Shock / Pleasure / Questioning / Doubt / Displeasure / Detachment / Resentment / Anticipation / Surprise / Meaning the letter in the alphabet between n and p.

If students can change the tone of a single letter of the alphabet with such ease, they should always consider adapting their tone appropriately for group discussions.

Ask all students to use the phrase ‘I don’t agree...’ and deliver it with the following tone: Aggressive / Polite / Sad / Confused / Doubt / Displeasure / Resentment / Surprise

Pace Yourself

This exercise is designed to reinforce learning through topic revision – and to encourage students to vary pace when speaking in front of others. It requires a visual count down timer projected onto the board.

Students are provided with a piece of text – it can be anything at all – subject specific, revision orientated, introducing a new concept – and students selected read aloud to their peers. Their objective is to read it aloud and complete the text provided as the time hits zero – not before, and not after!

The teacher can vary the timer – having students read the same material in 15/30/45/60 seconds to encourage variance of pace and use of pause.

The Extended Answer

This exercise helps to develop extended answers from students.

Students are not allowed to answer any questions posed with the words ‘yes’ or ‘no’. A volunteer student is seated whilst their peers pose questions. When the student in the chair makes a mistake and uses one of these words, then another student replaces them.

This exercise can be fun – with questions relating to anything – or can be subject specific – with the teacher providing a series of questions for students to ask the volunteer.

This exercise can be employed to ascertain knowledge retention after a specific subject has been covered in the curriculum.

Questions Questions...

This exercise encourages students to develop their oracy skills by asking questions.

A student sits with their back to the whiteboard. The teacher writes a key word from a recent topic of study on the board.

The student must ask a series of questions of their peers to determine what the key word is.

This exercise supports both the questioner and those being questioned to ascertain knowledge surrounding a specific area of study.

Fillers Beware

This exercise is designed to promote fluent talk, and avoid the use of filler phrases such as ‘like’, ‘you know what I mean’, ‘err...’ and ‘umm...’

Ask a volunteer to talk about anything for one minute – it could be subject specific, an anecdote or simply about what they had for breakfast.

Students are given one point for every second they speak for, but will lose a point for every ‘filler’ phrase they use. A student who speaks for sixty seconds without any filler phrases will score 60 points. A student who runs out of material at forty five seconds, and uses five ‘filler’ phrases will score 40 points.

This exercise can be employed to ascertain knowledge retention after a specific subject has been covered in the curriculum.

Opinion Walk

This exercise is designed to develop the use of persuasive devices and offering an opinion. Place ‘Agree’ and ‘Disagree’ signposts at either side of the room. Ask students to stand in the centre of the room.

The teacher offers a statement relevant to learning that has taken place and students are asked to position themselves on either side of the room – indicating whether they agree or disagree with the statement. Students may opt to stand in the centre of the room should that see both sides of the discussion.

Ask students to give reasons for their choice – and to offer detail to their explanation. Monitor if students change positions following the input of others – and question those students as to why they have changed from their original position.

Answers First

This exercise focuses on small group discussion in the classroom following a subject-specific scheme of work to ascertain and embed knowledge retention.

At the conclusion of a particular subject or scheme of work, students are equipped with answers relating to the topic studied. Their task is to discuss and formulate, from their knowledge of the topic, the types of questions to which these answers apply.

Groups will then present and explain their findings to the rest of the group.

This exercise supports embedding of knowledge through group and class discussion, and helps teachers to identify any knowledge gaps that require filling.

Image Link

This exercise is designed to encourage deeper thought about specific learning and to discuss that learning in small groups and as a class.

The teacher put students into small groups and issues them with 4 images that are related to the topic covered. Students have to discuss and identify what the images are, explain how they are linked, and present their findings to their peers.

An alternative is to include one image that is not linked, and for students to also explain how they came to the decision that this image was not related to the others.

Verbal Tennis

This exercise is designed to ascertain knowledge of topic-specific vocabulary and is completed in pairs.

The teacher provided a given topic or category. Students, in their pairs, take it in turns to say the words that they know associated with this topic. If a student misses a turn, or uses a word not related to the topic or category, they start again with a new ‘tennis serve’. This can be played as a competition between pairs or between small groups.

The teacher can ask students to write down the words they used in their game, and share with the class at the end, to ensure that all students hear and note the topic-specific vocabulary.

Open Discussion Questions

The questions below can be used in the classroom at any time that you want to get some discussion going. You can invite individuals to respond, or you can chair a whole class discussion on the question posed:

  1. Is Coronovirus bringing society closer together, or pushing it further apart? 

  2. What are you missing most under the current restrictions? 

  3. Should key workers be paid more? 

  4. What’s more important , what others think of you, or what you think of yourself? 

  5. Who are more embarrassing, parents or siblings? 

  6. Is the hole part of the polo? 

  7. If you had to choose which would you be, a body with no mind or a mind with no body? 

  8. If you knew that you could not fail, what would you do? 

Story Share

The aim of this exercise is for students to focus on listening to the detail within what others say.

Students are put into pairs – and labeled ‘A’ and ‘B’. Student A tells Student B a story about a real life event that they have experienced. Student B listens to the detail. The story can be about anything.

Once complete, Student B tells Student A a story about a real-life event that they have experienced. Student A listens to the detail.

Once complete, each student finds a completely new partner – and repeats the exercise – but this time, telling the story that they have just heard as if it were their own. This can be repeated numerous times.

Once exchanges have taken place several times – students then tell the whole group the final story they listened to as if it happened to them – and the originator of the story has to identify themselves and explain whether the retelling was accurate – or if there were anomalies.

Spot The Falsehood

This exercise is designed to ascertain retained knowledge at the conclusion of a lesson, and identify and gaps in knowledge that need further clarification, and discover who has been listening!

The teacher prepares a set of statements concerning the content of the lesson in advance. The teacher then reads the statements and chooses students to respond as to whether the statement is true or false – and explain students to justify their answer. If false, call upon students to supply a true statement.

The whole exercise could be flipped – and students have a few minutes to create their own statements before presenting them to their peers and continuing in the same fashion.

Registration

This exercise takes the simple act of registering your students and turns it into a listening exercise.

Rather than students answering their names with ‘Here...’ students are posed a question that they must answer when their name is called. It could be as simple as, ‘Name a famous film star / sports player / film...’ or it can be related to the learning that took place in the previous lesson.

Duplication is NOT allowed – ensuring all students listen to their peers to avoid this. Also, the teacher needs to start the register at different points each time, otherwise Andrew Andrews will always go first!

Visual Line Up

This exercise is designed to encourage visual communication – and be a fun end to a lesson.

Without speaking, or making any noise – students are asked to line up according to a certain criteria determined by the teacher. The criteria can be simple, such as shoe size, or requiring visual decision making, such as hair colour. This exercise can be repeated several times and often provides a way to encourage people to make decisions, communicate visually and take on different leadership roles.