One of my colleagues, Shifra Miriam Erlich, has been using a very creative way to help kids pull together the different components of a conversation. She explains that having an enjoyable conversation is like putting together a thick, piled-high, juicy, layered, fat sandwich.
The freshly baked slices of bread are the greetings or interesting introductions, as well as the endings of a conversation.
The meats and cheeses are the ideas or stories in the conversation.
Finally, the lettuce, tomatoes, and veggies are the comments and questions that spice up the verbal interaction.
The goal of the conversation game is to make the fattest sandwich possible by sharing lots of ideas and stories, asking great questions to show interest in the stories, and making tons of comments to demonstrate active listening. And while they are practicing to have a conversation, they are piling up cheeses, meats, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, some more cheeses and meats, even more crispy vegetables, and finally the bread on top as they wind down the conversation.
Thanks, Shifra Miriam, for sharing your idea and sending us pictures of your materials!