Social skills lesson Essay Example

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Development of a Social Skill Lesson Plan


Social Skills Lesson Plan

Skill Taught: Conversation skills

Target age group: 6-7 years with Down syndrome

  1. Define the skill: What is conversation?

  2. Model the skill: The students to imitate the teacher. This will help the teacher understand the level of conversation skills.

  3. Establish the needs of the students: Persons with Down syndrome have unique needs (Chapman & Key, 2011); the conversation skills needs will thus differ from one child to the other.

  4. Establish role player: Two children requested to volunteer.

  5. Set up role play: In setting up the role play, consider the challenges faced by students with Down syndrome such as hearing challenges.

  6. Conduct the role play

  7. Get feedback on the role play by discussion with the children.

  8. Give children homework on the skill.

  9. Repeat the role play, all the children to have a chance to participate in the role play.


Talking in turns, listening to talk without interrupting and speaking politely are some of the important components of good conversation skills (Ellis, 2003). Conversation skills help children to know how to communicate with other people. A conversations skill foster self regulation in the children and promotes positive social behaviour. In conversation, speech is crucial as it helps the child when expressing him/herself. However, Chapman and Key (2011) found that children with Down syndrome have communication, behaviour and listening challenges. As a result, the children develop speech later in life and consequently the children conversation skills are lower compared to those of the other children.

Good conversation skills play a crucial role in learning, development, enhancing social behaviours and in social interactions of the children with Down syndrome. According to Chapman and Key being able to talk and listen to others is very important for the children with the Down syndrome, it specifically helps in addressing the challenging behaviours and enhances the ability of the children to make friends and voice out their needs. Conversation skills can be acquired through proven teaching methods. Bearing in mind that the children with Down syndrome have difficulties in learning (Chapman & Key, 2011) they have also been found to have difficulties in starting conversation, maintaining eye contact, knowing how to get the attention of the person they are conversing with and due to challenging behaviour they may have not developed polite speaking skills.

Teaching conversation skills to the children with Down syndrome is paramount to their holistic development. The skills will equip them with the life skills and will help them in overcoming some of the challenges in social interactions. However, the children with Down syndrome have unique needs which should be considered when teaching the skill.


Conversation skills have great impact on the life of an individual, conversation influence how an individual interacts with other people, and the likeability of the individual. It through likeability, that an individual gains acceptance. A research conducted by Cooke et al (2007) found that children with good conversation skills were found to be happier and readily accepted by other children; they could be admitted in games faster compared to the children who had not learned the skill. Through good conversation skills, children with Down syndrome also develop and enhance other skills that are important in life such as making friends, listening and interacting with other people. Children with good conversation skills are also more confident, have higher self esteem, self control and thus can interact with other people easily (Rondal &Buckley, 2005).


Home: The child with Down syndrome is tasked with receiving visitors and keeping them company before the parents arrive.

Peers: The children are placed in groups of three and are to debate a pertinent issue affecting them (the children are allowed to debate without moderation).

School: The children are left to play with their peers without disability.

Evaluating the effectiveness of the lesson

In order to find out whether the children have acquired the skill, assessment need to be carried. The evaluation of the skills acquired s normally based on the objectives set for the skill being taught (Borroso & Pon, 2005).The evaluation of the skill will involve continuous evaluation of the child at school and home. At school, the teachers in charge of the children will be provided with a form with indicators for the positive and negative conversation skills. The teachers will monitor the child and provide feedback on the provided form; this will be a simple form in which the teacher ticks the observations made. The parents will be explained about the conversation skill the children are undergoing and will be provided with a similar form to that of the teachers but with roles that relate to home setting. Data from the teachers and parents will be analysed to determine whether the children have acquired the skill.


Barroso, K. and Pon, S. (2005). Effective lesson planning. A facilitator’s guide. Sacramento, CA: American Institute for Research.

Chapman, R. and Kay, E. (2011). Language development in childhood, Teaching number skills and concepts with Numicon materials. Down Syndrome Research and Practice. 12(1), pp. 22-26.

Cooke, M., Ford, J., Levine, J. Bourke, C, Newell, L and Lapidus, G. (2007). The effects of city wide on implementation of ‘Second Step’ on elementary school students’ pro social and aggressive behaviours. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 28 (2), pp. 93-115.

Ellis, R. (2003) Task-based Language Learning and Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Rondal, J. and Buckley, S. J. (2005) Speech and Language Intervention in Down syndrome. Down Syndrome Research and Practice, 7 (1), pp. 17-23.