Generating Topics - 2

Foundational

Teachers

Goal: When presented with an opportunity to engage in conversation, the student will ask up a follow-up question based on information shared, in 8 out of 10 observable opportunities, as measured by a teacher assessment tool.

Objectives:
1. Generate a list of questions to use during a conversation based on student interests and strengths.
2. Ask questions during a conversation to gain new information about the conversation partner.
3. Use information shared by the conversation partner to ask a follow-up question.

Definitions of Key Terms: Topics are subjects that we discuss with others when we are having a conversation. The topics can be based on our own interests and ideas, or on those offered by a conversation partner during an exchange.

Discussion Points

  • Why do we need to vary the topics that we discuss?
  • What would happen if we discussed the same topics repeatedly?
  • How do you respond to a person who says the same thing or discusses the same topic over and over again?
  • Why should we try to listen to people who are talking about unfamiliar topics with us?

Discuss with students what it means to generate topics. Review the discussion point questions.

Possible activities to review the discussion points or use your own:

Think. Pair. Share: The teacher will pose questions related to the discussion points. Explain to students that the purpose of the activity is to think about the question and activate prior knowledge. The teacher will model the procedure to facilitate student understanding.

  • T (Think): Teacher begins by asking a specific question using the discussion topics.
  • P (Pair): Each student should be paired with another student, small group or work with a teacher. Pairs write brief answers on sticky notes or scrap paper.
  • S (Share): Students share their thinking with their partner. Teacher then leads a whole-group conversation using students’ answers.

SEL Categories Activity:

  • Ask students to create a list of words associated with the topic (give them 2-5 minutes to complete).
  • Once time is up, ask each student to share a word or thought from their list.
  • Other students must cross that word or thought off their list.
  • Continue the process until all words or thoughts have been listed.

Directions for In-Person or Virtual Learning: You have three options for students to complete this lesson.

  • Option 1: Print the Student Activity Sheet for each student. Complete the lesson as a group and assign the activity sheet to the students.
  • Option 2: Click the Student link to access the activity sheet electronically and post to your Learning Management System (if your school has one) or send the link to the student. The student may complete the activity sheet electronically within the classroom on a shared computer or device.
  • Option 3: Click the Student link to access the activity sheet electronically and send the link to the student. The student may access the link from a home computer, chromebook, iPad or other device.

Activity 1: Topic Discussion

In the large group, have the students contribute to a list of topics that they may not talk about on a daily basis. List these on the board or chart paper. Examples could include: dogs, another country, etc.

Materials Needed:
  • Chart paper or interactive board
  • Sheet of paper for each student

Discuss why they may not talk about these topics often. Ask students to recall and share a situation when they were speaking with someone that asked about a topic they didn't know about or care about. Record these topics/ideas on the board or chart paper.

Ask students to list the topics that they like to discuss on a sheet of paper. After they have completed their list, ask them to review the list on the board or chart paper.Ask students to turn over their paper and write down up to 3 topics from the board/chart paper that they will try discussing in the future.

Activity 2: The Labeling Game

Review the ideas shared in Activity 1. Ask the students to complete Student Activity Sheet A.

When all students have finished, review their answers.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Activity Sheet A - 1 per student
  • Pencil for each group

Pair the students together and ask each pair to write a question for each category listed on the sheet.

When all students have finished, ask pairs to share the questions they came up with. Discuss the concept of using categories they are unfamiliar with to share when talking with someone.

Student Activity Sheet A

Directions: Use the list of objects below to identify the category.

Vegetables Toys Shapes Transportation Colors Sports

1. peas, broccoli, carrots, spinach, brussel sprouts, celery

2. blocks, action figures, dolls, playdough, cars, puzzles

3. triangle, circle, trapezoid, rectangle, hexagon

4. bike, airplane, boat, truck, train, bus, taxi

5. red, blue, green, orange, pink, purple, yellow

6. football, softball, tennis, hockey, baseball, basketball

Activity 3: Comic Strip Worksheet

Review the key points from Activities 1 and 2 with the students. Discuss the best ways to discuss topics with a conversation partner. Be sure to discuss making eye contact, allowing one person to speak at a time, and demonstrating positive body language. Ask students to complete Student Activity Sheet B.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Activity Sheet B
  • Pencil for each student

When all students have finished, review their answers together.

If time, allow them to work with a partner to role play the comics.

Student Activity Sheet B

Directions: Study the comic strips below. Next, circle the answers that show the characters generating a topic.

Lesson Extension: Listening Comprehension and Grammar Review

Explain that a script is a form of written dialogue between characters in a movie, play, or broadcast. Students should listen carefully as the teacher plays the example scripts from the immersive reader. Replay the script if needed. Allow students time to answer the questions on Student Activity Sheet C.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Activity Sheet C - 1 per student
  • Pencil for each student
  • Student Activity Sheet D - 1 per student
  • Red and purple colored pencil or pen

After students have finished, discuss the listening comprehension questions together.

After completing the listening comprehension portion of this activity, provide students a copy of Student Activity Sheet D. Point out to students the features of script text that indicate which character is talking. Remind students that this is a dialogue between characters.

Allow students time to complete Student Activity Sheet D.

Display the script using the immersive reader and highlight the nouns in the script. Students should self-check their work to determine if they correctly named two nouns. Repeat the process for verbs and punctuation.

If time allows students may partner together and role play the script.

Example of an appropriate script for generating topics:
Darren: Hi Chris. Did you have a nice trip?
Chris: Yes, I did! I went to a theme park. Do you like theme parks?
Darren: No, I like other vacation spots.
Chris: What kinds of other vacation spots do you like?
Darren: I like going to the beach because I like the sand and water.

Example of an inappropriate script for generating topics:
Darren: Hi Chris, how are you?
Chris: Fine. Did you know I like pizza?
Darren: Would you like to play a game?
Chris: I like eating pizza for lunch everyday.

Read Aloud Recommendations: Completing a read aloud with students is a great way for them to see and learn social skills as well as incorporating reading skills. Read and discuss as appropriate for level and as time allows throughout the lesson.

Use current classroom literature that demonstrates generating topics appropriately.

Student Activity Sheet C

Directions: Think about the script read/played for the class and complete the questions below.

1. Who are the characters in this script?

2. Where did Chris go on vacation?

3. What was the topic Chris and Darren discussed?

4. How do you think Darren felt when Chris would not respond to his question?

Student Activity Sheet D

Directions: In the scripts below, circle in purple two nouns that name a person and one noun that names a place. Circle in red two verbs.

Remember: A noun names a person, place, thing, or idea. A verb names describe an action, a state, or an occurrence.

Example of an appropriate script for generating topics:
Darren: Hi Chris. Did you have a nice trip?
Chris: Yes, I did! I went to a theme park. Do you like theme parks?
Darren: No, I like other vacation spots.
Chris: What kinds of other vacation spots do you like?
Darren: I like going to the beach because I like the sand and water.

Example of an inappropriate script for generating topics:
Darren: Hi Chris, how are you?
Chris: Fine. Did you know I like pizza?
Darren: Would you like to play a game?
Chris: I like eating pizza for lunch everyday.

Application Activity

Review and discuss example scripts from the lesson extension.

In small groups, have the students create scripts demonstrating appropriate and inappropriate ways to generate topics. Use the script sheet to create students' scripts.

Materials Needed:
  • Script sheet for each group
  • Pencil for each student

Have students record their scripts using SiLAS software. Remind students to name and save their work. Premiere the movies with the group members at the end of each session.

Topic Checkout

Review key points from previous activities with the students. Ask students to complete the Student Topic Checkout. When everyone is finished, review the answers.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Topic Checkout - 1 per student
  • Pencil for each student

Student Topic Checkout

Directions: Complete the following questions.

1. What is a topic?

2. Why is it important to generate a variety of topics during a conversation?

3. How do people feel when you talk about the same topic over and over again?

4. Is it important to ask a question based on what your conversation partner said? Why or why not?