Clear communication

The goals of this module are

  • to learn how to listen and focus in conversations and
  • to learn how to give clear and accurate information.

Ideal Group size:

Up to 30


25 minutes



  • Chalk board and chalk or flip chart and marker pens
  • Paper and pens (1 per child)

Materials for download:

External resources:

How it’s done

  1. Explain to the learners that communication is a process.
  2. Ask them to take out a piece of paper.
  3. Explain that you will give them instructions and they are to listen to them and draw what you say.
  4. Do not tell them that you are having them draw an elephant. Give them the following instructions, pausing for several seconds after each instruction, so they complete the instruction before hearing the next instruction.
    • Draw a body
    • Draw four legs
    • Draw two ears
    • Draw a head
    • Draw a trunk
  5. Ask them to look at each other’s pictures. Explain that you were having them draw an elephant. Do any of the pictures look like an elephant? When everyone was given the same instructions do all of the pictures look the same? Why not? Explain that even with good communication everyone understands messages differently
  6. Ask the learners if there is a difference between “hearing” and “listening.”
  7. Explain that people hear through their ears and have no control over what they hear. Hearing is natural and people are hearing all the time (unless they are deaf). A person listens by paying attention to and thinking about what someone is saying. Deaf people can listen even though they cannot hear. Most of the time, people hear but they do not listen. Listening is a learned skill and gets better with practice.
  8. Divide learners into pairs. Ask one person to tell the other a story about a happy time they spent with a friend or family member. Explain that the partner who is listening cannot talk but can show interest and understanding without words. After two minutes ask participants to switch roles. Have the listening partner retell the story that the speaking partner just told.
  9. Discussion: Did the listening partner retell the story correctly? Were they listening well? Ask the listening partners how they felt listening and not being able to talk. Did they feel they listened better when they knew they could not speak?
    Emphasize that:

    • It is difficult to listen and think at the same time.
    • You listen better when you do not interrupt.
    • You listen better when you pay attention.
    • It takes practice to be a good listener.

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