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Main Core Tie

Teen Living
Strand 2 Standard 2

Time Frame

1 class periods of 45 minutes each


Esther Larson


Explain the different styles of communication using activities, video clips, and worksheets.


  • Crazy Sentence Cards
  • Topic Cards
  • Styles of Communication Worksheet
  • Video Clips
  • Small Cups, 7-Up, salt
  • 4 Horseman Worksheet

Background for Teachers

Instructional Procedures

1. (5 min.) Play Crazy Sentence: Two students come up to the front of the room. They both draw a crazy sentence. Then they are given a topic from the topic pile. They must talk about the topic and in the course of the conversation they need to say their crazy sentences. Give them an alloted amount of time. At the end of the time, the rest of the class tries to guess what the crazy sentence was for each person. (My students had a little trouble getting started with this game. Another option might be breaking the class up into two or three groups.)

2. (20 min.) Hand out the worksheet. Have the three video clips set up and ready to go. Show a clip then discuss the communication in the clip. Have the students write down the characteristics in the clip under the right style. Show the "Emperor's New Groove" clip. This is from the very beginning of the movie when the emperor is talking to the wicked lady. He does not pay attention to what she is saying, etc. When Pacha comes in, the emperor is self-centered and thinks only of himself. This is a clip representing child-like communication. The "Ever After" clip is for parent-like communication. This is when the King and the Prince have a confrontation about the Prince becoming king. The king's communication is one-way and dictorial. I used "Stepmom" for the adult style. This clip is at the very end of the movie. The two moms are sitting down and talking about the children. They are calm, responsible, and have a two- way conversation.

3. (5 min.) To demonstrate destructive communication, have 6 small cups filled with 7-Up. Line them up. In the first, place a small amount of salt. Tell the students that whoever could finish drinking all the cups of 7-Up first wins. After, point out that it took all five regular cups of 7-Up to get rid of the salt taste. This is just like in communication. It takes five positive comments to make up for one negative comment.

4. (15 min.) Hand out the Four Horseman worksheet. Talk about each of the four horseman and how they can destroy our communuication and relationships.


1. Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Covey 2. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman 3. The Curriculum Guide 4. Sue Reber

Created: 05/06/2003
Updated: 01/20/2018