Making conversation can be a difficult skill for students with special needs. While it may be interesting to know about all the hidden Mickeys at Disneyland, too much of a good thing can be overwhelming.
We can help students understand the rules of polite conversation with the following exercise.
Facebook's most common "likes" include these topics, with each getting 9 million or more "likes."
1. List each topic at the top of a page. As a group, have students brain-storm everything they know about each topic.
2. Divide students into groups of two or three and have them choose one of the topics they brain-stormed.
3. Set a timer for one minute and allow one student to talk about everything they know about the chosen topic. Reset the timer and allow the other student to do the same. Repeat as necessary.
4. Next, instruct the students that they will again discuss the topic for one minute, only this time they will discuss the topic together. One will speak then the next and then back to the first. The goal for each student is to build on what the previous student said. Students want to keep exchanging information about the topic until the minute is up.
5. After the first brain-storming session, this activity should only take 3-5 minutes. Allow students to converse on a regular basis using these popular topics so that they can practice having true conversations. With a little practice, they could become pros!