Topic Elaboration - 2

Foundational

Teachers

Goal: While engaging in a conversation with peers or adults, the student will participate in the conversation equally, such as asking follow up questions or elaborating on a topic, in 8 out of 10 observable opportunities, as measured by a teacher assessment tool.

Objectives:
1. Ask conversation partner questions on the topic being discussed.
2. State pieces of information related to the topic being discussed.
3. Listen attentively to the speaker by making or maintaining eye contact, facing the speaker, etc.

Definitions of Key Terms: Topic elaboration means to provide new information on a particular subject, especially when engaging in a conversation. To effectively elaborate on a topic you can give facts, add interesting comments, teach new information, provide comparisons, state the obvious, add humor, or provide examples.

Questions

  • Why is it important to elaborate on topics in a conversation?
  • Is it an enjoyable conversation when a person talks about a topic continuously and provides the same information over and over?
  • How does asking questions help us elaborate on a topic?

Discuss with students what it means to elaborate on a topic. 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.

Activity 1: Storylines

Prior to beginning the activity, write or type out the sample script from below. Make a copy for yourself, one for Student A and one for Student B.

Review with students the definition of topic elaboration. Ask students to reflect on the discussion point questions.

Materials Needed:
  • Sample Script for Role Play
  • Student Activity Sheet A - 1 per group
  • Chart paper or interactive board
  • Pencil per group

Choose two students to act as Student A and Student B. Give the students the sample script (listed below) and ask the students to role play the script. The remainder of the students should listen carefully and determine if Student A and Student B appropriately elaborated on the topic.

Set up all the students into pairs and ask them to practice elaborating on the topics listed on Student Activity Sheet A. Ask students to think about how Student B could have responded differently and elaborated on the topic more. Record answers on the board or chart paper. Be sure to also review the basics of good conversation (eye contact, facing the speaker, listening quietly, etc.).

For additional practice, you may consider creating your own story scripts and distributing them to students to practice in pairs.

Sample Script for Role Play:

Student A: Hi, Chris! What did you do this weekend?

Student B: Hi, Ann. I went grocery shopping with my grandma.

Student A: Did you get anything interesting while shopping?

Student B: I just went shopping with my grandma.

Student A:

Student Activity Sheet A

Directions: With your partner decide who will be student A and who will be student B. Role play the situations below. Be sure to add to the conversation with topic elaboration.

Script 1

Student A: Hi, how are you? I went to the movies last night.
Student B: That sounds like fun. What movie did you see?

Script 2

Student B: Hi Chris would you like to come to the playground with me?
Student A: No.

Activity 2: Related Information and Circumstances

Prior to beginning the activity, choose a topic to use as a model for the activity. Also prepare topics for each group to use with Student Activity Sheet A. You can write each topic on an index card or sticky note to provide each group.

Materials Needed:
  • Starter topic chosen by teacher
  • Chart paper or interactive board
  • Topics on cards for each group of students
  • Student Activity Sheet B - 1 per group
  • Pencil per group

Review the key points from Activity 1. Explain to students that knowing related information about topics allows them to better elaborate. Write a topic of your choosing on the board or chart paper. Ask students to think about different questions to ask about the topic or different pieces of information about the topic that could help elaborate it when in a conversation with a friend or classmate. Discuss the important pieces to topic elaboration (be sure to include asking related questions of the speaker, offering pieces of information related to the topic, etc.).

Separate students into small groups. Distribute Student Activity Sheet B and ask groups to work together to complete. When all groups have finished, discuss the ideas that each group generated.

Student Activity Sheet B

Activity 3: Comic Strip Worksheet

Review the key points from Activity 1 and 2 with students. Be sure to review the basics of good conversation, topic elaboration, and active listening. Ask students to complete Student Activity Sheet C. Discuss answers as a group when all have finished.

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

Student Activity Sheet C

Directions: Study the comic strips below. Next, circle the answers that show the characters elaborating on 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 D.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Activity Sheet D - 1 per student
  • Pencil for each student
  • Student Activity Sheet E - 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 E. 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 E.

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 script of demonstrating appropriate topic elaboration:
Darren: Hi, Anya. Do you like to play board games? I love all board games.
Anya: Yes, I do. My favorite is chess. I play it all the time.
Darren: That’s great! What other board games do you like?
Anya: I like to play checkers.
Darren: Me too!

Example script of demonstrating inappropriate topic elaboration:
Darren: Hey, do you like baseball?
Anya: Yes, what’s your favorite team?
Darren: (walks away)
Anya: That was rude.

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 topic elaboration.

Student Activity Sheet D

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

1. Who are the characters in this script?

2. What is Anya's favorite board game?

3. Does Darren like board games?

4. How do you think Anya felt when Darren walked away?

Student Activity Sheet E

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. Underline the punctuation.

Remember:

A noun names a person, place, thing, or idea.

A verb names describe an action, a state, or an occurrence.

Example script of demonstrating appropriate topic elaboration:
Darren: Hi, Anya. Do you like to play board games? I love all board games.
Anya: Yes, I do. My favorite is chess. I play it all the time.
Darren: That’s great! What other board games do you like?
Anya: I like to play checkers.
Darren: Me too!

Example script of demonstrating inappropriate topic elaboration:
Darren: Hey, do you like baseball?
Anya: Yes, what’s your favorite team?
Darren: (walks away)
Anya: That was rude.

Application Activity

Review and discuss example scripts from the lesson extension.

In small groups, have the students create scripts using topic elaboration appropriately and inappropriately. 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 for social skills. Remind students to name and save their work. Premiere the movies with the group members at the end of each session.

Ideas for modifying this activity based on your students’ needs:

  • create a script as a class
  • pair or group students so that skill levels are varied and assign each a role or task that uses their skill
  • create the script by recording the dialogue with a phone or other recording device

Topic Checkout

Review the key points from the discussions and activities with students. Ask students to complete the student Topic Checkout. Review answers with students when all have finished.

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

Student Topic Checkout

Directions: Complete the following questions.

  1. Please give three examples of how you can elaborate on a topic.
  2. Why do we need to elaborate on a topic?
  3. How does it make you feel when someone you are talking with does not elaborate on the topic?
  4. How can you show you are listening attentively to a speaker?