Foundation Year
Lesson 3: Ways We Communicate (Part 1)

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1. Lesson Overview

Length of Lesson

  • 60 mins

Prior Knowledge (What should the Teacher Have Already Covered)

Resources Required

  • Poster of images for activity 1 or use IWB to display on screen.
  • Selection of resources that demonstrate different ways of communicating (*see activity 2).

Key Concepts

  • Everyone benefits from being able to communicate with the people around them.
  • There are many ways we can communicate our thoughts and feelings.
  • We need to recognise the communication needs of the people around us so that we can find the best way to communicate with them.

Learning Outcomes

  • LO1: With visual reference for support, students can identify different ways to communicate.
  • LO2: Students can identify a variety of ways we can communicate in the school environment (e.g. with words, emotion, pictures, sound, colour, touch).
  • LO3: Students can suggest appropriate inclusive activities that respond to the needs of others.

HPE Subject Area

  • ACPPS004:  Practice personal and social skills to interact positively with others

General Capabilities by the End of Foundation Year (Level 1)

Personal and Social Capability

  • Develop self-discipline and set goals: follow class routines to assist learning
  • Work collaboratively: share experiences of cooperation in play and group activities
  • Understand relationships: explore relationships through play and group experiences
  • Make decisions: identify options when making decisions to meet their needs and the needs of others

Ethical Understanding

  • Examine values: identify values that are important to them
  • Reflect on ethical action: identify and describe the influence of factors such as wants and needs on people’s actions

Intercultural Understanding

  • Communicate across cultures: recognise that people use different languages to communicate


  • Understand learning area vocabulary: use familiar vocabulary contexts related to everyday experiences, personal interests and topics taught at school and used in other contexts
  • Interpret and analyse learning area texts: interpret simple texts using comprehension strategies

Critical and Creative Thinking

  • Identify and clarify information and ideas: identify and describe familiar information and ideas during a discussion or investigation.

Assessable moments: As students undertake the learning experiences described in the lesson, take note of a range of assessable moments to provide information about student achievement. Ongoing assessment will provide evidence of the extent to which students achieve the identified Australian Curriculum links. Assessable moments are linked to learning outcomes and are identified by the following identifier: assessable moments tickLO (insert number)

3. Lesson Plan: Suggested Sequence of Learning Experiences

Format Lesson Plan: Suggested Sequence of Learning Experiences
9 mins

Welcoming activity: see lesson 1

State the learning intention: Today we are going to learn about the importance of being able to let others know what we are thinking and how we are feeling, and also understand other people's thoughts and feelings. This is called communication. We will be exploring different ways to communicate, and will look at how we communicate at school.

Body 20 mins

Activity 1: Everyone can Communicate!

Lesson 3 Activity 1 – Ways We Communicate pdf File (1.55 Mb)
Lesson 3 Activity 1 – Ways We Communicate word File (1.94 Mb)

assessable moments tickLO1 Class Discussion: There are many ways we can communicate, or send and receive messages. Why is it important for people to be able to communicate? (to find things out, to show or how we are feeling, to say what we are thinking). How am I communicating with you now? (I am talking, you are listening). Is this the only way we can communicate, or give someone information? (no). How else can we communicate a message, or give information to someone? (assess what the students already know and develop further understanding throughout the lesson)

In the first lesson, we did an activity where we communicated our feelings without using words (feelings role play activity). We used our faces and body to communicate different feelings like happiness and sadness.

Show lesson 3 “Ways we communicate” table using an electronic whiteboard. Go through the table and ask students to identify the different ways of communicating by referring to the table.

Ask focus questions like:

  • When would we use this type of communication?
  • When is this type of communication useful?
  • Who uses this type of communication?

Optional – print out the communication table and put it somewhere in the room for referral.

Main points to highlight:

  • Everyone benefits from being able to communicate with the people around them.
  • There are many ways we can communicate our thoughts and feelings.
10 mins

Activity 2: Treasure Hunt!!

Class discussion:

Teacher’s notes: for this activity, you can use examples from your school environment and direct students to identify different types of communication. For example, communication through words, signs, pictures, sounds (school bell) and colour – e.g. your classroom, library, toilets, car park, school hall etc.

assessable moments tickLO2 Select some story books, print materials (e.g. posters, charts, procedures, diagrams), electronic media (e.g. electronic white board), music, colour etc. that show different methods of communicating in the school environment – and get students to find/ describe/ locate where they are – one at a time. Describe the activity as a communication “treasure hunt”. Once they have found the communication ‘treasure’ in the school setting, ask them to tell you when you would use this type of communication.

For example (things to find):

  1. books with pictures that show emotion through facial expressions and body language.
  2. posters that show signs and symbols (surf safety, road signs, first aid, healthy food pyramid).
  3. procedural charts (e.g. steps in washing hands, or steps if there is a fire).
  4. using colour to communicate (e.g. traffic lights – stop, wait, go; red is hot/danger/stop, green is go, blue is cool, yellow is warm).
  5. using music or sound (music to energise – e.g. fast beat, music to relax – sounds of nature, or school bell to indicate change in routine, whistle to go in a race, or to stop play on the sports field).
  6. using touch – get students to demonstrate this one – examples include patting a cat or dog to show affection, of giving someone a hug to show you care, or holding hands or putting arms around shoulders to show friendship).
15 mins

Activity 3: Playing Together without Words!

Students respond to the following scenario:

Display pictures of emotions on the IWB or on a poster for reference when implementing the following activity.

A new girl called Sherri joins our class. She is from another country that speaks a different language. Sherri does not yet understand English. How can we communicate with Sherri to make her feel welcome? (Smile at her, use signs and pictures, show her where things are like the toilets, sit with her and find an activity that she can join in with – for example – completing a jigsaw or drawing a picture). How do we know if Sherri understands? (Expected responses: She may nod, she may look happy and relaxed, and she may join in with the activity).

assessable moments tickLO3 Class brainstorm: What activities could you do with Sherri that does not require you to understand each other’s spoken language?


  1. Do a jigsaw together.
  2. Play a memory game with picture cards.
  3. Throw and catch together (or other physical activity like hula hoops, skipping ropes etc.).
  4. Dance together to music.
  5. Play hopscotch or other pavement games if both of you are familiar with the game.
  6. Play hand clapping game (e.g. mirror each other’s hand movements).
  7. Play hide and seek.

Choose an activity from the ones provided and complete the activity with your partner without using words.

Main point to highlight:

  • We need to recognise the communication needs of the people around us so that we can find the best way to communicate with them.
Conclusion and Reflection
6 mins

assessable moments tickLO2, LO3 Class discussion.

What are some different ways we can communicate with each other?

Why is it important to find different ways of communicating?

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