Fun activities for promoting speaking skills (grades 2 to 3)

Fun activities for promoting speaking skills (grades 2 to 3)

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Does your child wake up talking and stop only when she goes to sleep? Or is she the silent type?

Whatever her natural inclination, you can help her hone her speaking skills. As with reading and math, learning to speak well comes more easily with practice.

Start by being an active listener. This means not just hearing what your child says but asking her questions, making comments, and becoming engaged in a real conversation.

Here are some games and activities to help build your child's speaking skills. Because children learn in different ways, the games are arranged by learning style. But don't feel restricted to one group – children can benefit from all the activities listed here.

For auditory learners

Talk to your child whenever you're together. Tell her about an interesting news story you read online. Describe a conversation you had at work. When you go shopping together for clothes, tell her about the shopping trips you used to take with your mom.

It may not seem as if your child is paying attention, but she is. Don't be surprised if you hear her repeating something you said when she talks to someone else.

And remember: Children are natural mimics, so watch your language!

Ask open-ended questions. If you ask your child a broad question such as, "What did you do at school today?" you'll get a much more detailed answer than if you ask a yes or no question like, "Did you have fun at school today?"

If she's slow to answer, get more specific: "What science experiment did you work on today?" Give your child a chance to describe what she's been up to, and listen enthusiastically. She may tell you lots of seemingly trivial details, but everything is important to her.

And you might as well enjoy the conversation while it lasts: Soon enough, you may have a close-mouthed teenager sitting across the dinner table from you.

Record her singing a song or telling a story. Your child will love to hear her own voice, and she'll be surprised and fascinated by how she sounds to other people. Hold on to those recordings – years from now you'll be glad to have an auditory snapshot of your child at this age.

Rework a favorite old story. Bring out one of your child's most dog-eared, battered books and read it aloud yet again. Only this time, pause at key points to let her fill in the words that come next. Or read the story and purposely change key details to see if she corrects your "errors."

Request a book report. At the dinner table, or wherever the family gathers together, have your child summarize the latest book she read. Have family members pose questions, and ask your child to describe what she liked or didn't like about the book.

Have your child read aloud. You've spent years reading to her. Now it's her turn. Find books she can read easily and that aren't too long (so she won't lose her enthusiasm).

For visual learners

Don't harp on any missteps or stumbles. The idea is to get your child comfortable speaking in front of others, not to prepare him for public office.

Ask your child to describe a show. Have your child tell you what the story is about – he's old enough now to focus not only on the plot but also on the conflicts in the story. For example, ask him to explain why the main character is feeling mad or sad.

Have your child tell a story using a wordless picture book. This activity works especially well with children who are still learning to read. It not only builds speaking skills but also encourages your child to think of himself as a real reader, even if he can't recognize a word. Two to try: Peggy Rathmann's Good Night, Gorilla and Jerry Pinkney's The Lion & the Mouse.

For physical learners

Go on a nature walk. Bring along a box or jar to collect treasures like feathers, unusual rocks, and colorful leaves. When you get home, have your child describe what's interesting about the items to the family. Or have her begin a nature scrapbook that she can flip through and talk about to others.
Get more great ideas on how to make a nature walk a blast for you and your child.

Stage a family play. Sit down together and write a short play for the family to act out, and let your child be the director or the lead. You can even make an audio or video recording of the performance.

Take dictation. Ask your child to tell you simple stories, and write them down. If she leaves out key details or says something you don't understand, ask her to clarify.

Have her draw pictures to go along with the story, and use them to make a book. Periodically pull out the book and have her tell you the story again.

Watch the video: British Council - Teaching Speaking Techniques John Kay (June 2022).


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