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Communication Skills | Middle School | 21st Century Skills

3 Best Communication Lesson Plans for Middle School

January 3rd, 2022 | 6 min. read

Bri Stauffer

Bri Stauffer

For nearly 10 years, Bri has focused on creating content to address the questions and concerns educators have about teaching classes, preparing students for certifications, and making the most of the AES curriculum system.

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Good communication skills are arguably the most important thing for anyone to have in today’s working world.

No matter what career path your students take, they will need to communicate effectively with coworkers and customers on a daily basis.

This is one of the reasons communication is listed as a critical 21st Century skill for middle school students to learn.

As a career readiness curriculum developer, middle school teachers often ask us how we can help them teach communication skills to their students.

While we provide a curriculum to teach communication and other career exploration and readiness skills, our solution may not be the best fit for everyone.

To help you choose the right resources for your students, we put together a list of three popular middle school communication lessons:

  1. Lesson Plan on Assertiveness & Communication Skills from “Mrs. S”
  2. Communication Activities from the United States Department of Labor
  3. Effective Communication Skills from Kara’s Class

In this post, you’ll discover the details of each resource to help you decide which are best to use in your career readiness curriculum.

1. Lesson Plan on Assertiveness & Communication Skills from “Mrs. S”

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“Mrs. S” is a well-known publisher on Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT) -- an online marketplace where educators can share, sell, and buy classroom resources like lesson plans and activities.

While Mrs. S mainly has products for health and physical education classes, she does have a few lessons for teaching soft skills. That includes this lesson on communication skills.

One thing to note is that while the title of the lesson plan says “sub plans” any teacher can use this lesson as part of a standard class.

In the lesson, Mrs. S covers these concepts relating to communication skills:

  • Listening skills
  • Speaking skills
  • Being assertive, but not aggressive
  • Tips for overcoming passive and aggressive behavior
  • Rules for good communication

The download contains everything you need to prepare for and execute the lesson.

There are instructions, student handouts, hands-on activities, “flip up” posters, and optional “extension activities” for reinforcing the content.

The main lesson is made to fill one class period. If you choose to use the extension activities, you’ll need to plan for extra time spent on teaching communication skills.

Overall, this lesson is a great way to get into the details on balancing assertiveness (without being aggressive) when communicating with others.

Even if you don’t want to use all of the content from this download, you can pick and choose pieces to add to your existing communication lessons!

2. Communication Activities from the United States Department of Labor

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The US Department of Labor has a soft skills curriculum to help teach a variety of skills to middle and high school students, including communication.

The communication unit is an 18-page PDF that has an introduction and five lesson plans, which each include:

  • Approximate time for the lesson/activity
  • List of materials needed
  • Directions for you and your students
  • Guided notes and other student resources
  • Details for discussions
  • Journaling activities
  • Optional extension activities

This communication unit has most everything you need to teach your students good communication skills, except for an assessment.

If you want to grade your students, you’ll need to create your own quizzes, tests, and rubrics to go along with the lessons and activities.

3. Effective Communication Skills from Kara’s Class

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Kara’s Class is another publisher on TpT with a lesson on effective communication skills. This lesson is much more direct and straightforward than the previous lesson.

With the download, you receive a 16-slide PowerPoint presentation to teach communication topics along with classroom activities related to those topics.

Overall this lesson teaches students about:

  • What communication is
  • Ways to communicate
  • Effective communication
  • Active listening
  • Assertive speaking
  • When good communication skills are needed
  • Why good communication is important

This lesson is the perfect way to introduce middle schoolers to the basics of communication and why these skills are important.

If you’re looking for resources to give you a good jumping off point to your existing lessons, this is it.

Teach Communication and Other 21st Century Skills

Effective communication is an essential skill students need for success in school and the workplace. So it’s critical to have the right lesson plans to help your learners master communication skills.

If you need just a few lessons to add to your existing curriculum, each resource in this article can help you teach communication in your classes. 

However, you likely need to teach more than communication in your middle school career readiness classes. In fact, communication is only one of the 21st Century skills that students need in the modern workplace. 

If you’d like guidance on teaching communication along with critical thinking, leadership, media literacy, and more, download your free guide.

You’ll learn more about each of these skills and why they’re important, along with information on how you can teach them in your classroom.

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