Matthew Henson

Unit Openers:

Grade 4 - Unit 5

General Unit Opener Information:

Unit Opener General Resources Page

Unit Opener Powerpoints:

Powerpoint: What is communication? by Emily Olmetti

Unit Opener Ideas:

Create A Game Together
Submitted by:
Joi Lipton
Submit your Unit Opener or Closer Idea Here

Divide the class into groups of four or five students. Have each group come up with a group sound. Then spread students out and have students cover their eyes with a blindfold. Then have students try to find their groups by repeating their group sound over and over until all members of the group are together.

Play Telephone
Submitted by:
Mr. N
Submit your Unit Opener or Closer Idea Here

Sit in a circle and play the old game of telephone. Give a secret message to one student who then repeats it to another who repeats it to someone else until the message gets back to the original person. See how the message gets changed in the repeating.

Telephone Part II
Submitted by:
J. Kim-Yoo
Submit your Unit Opener or Closer Idea Here

Divide the class into groups of 6. Similar to the telephone line, they will receive a sentence that only the first person will read. He/she acts out the sentence strip to the second person, while the rest of the group is facing the other direction (no peeking or sounds!). The second person acts out what he/she saw to the third. The third to the fourth. So on, until the action is revealed to the last person. The last person has to guess what the sentence was. This activity is great in showing that there are more ways to communicate than talking, and the children have a lot of fun! Watch how the action changes as it's passed on!

Blind Communication
Submitted by:
Submit your Unit Opener or Closer Idea Here
  • a) Blindfold Maze- the students will walk through a maze on
    the playground grass area in pairs, led by a "seeing" partner
  • b)Braille- students will be exposed to braille writing and will figure
    out how to write their names and other words
  • c)Sign language-
    students will view a basic instructional video on signing basic words
    like mom, dad, thank you... then will practice and learn other words,
  • d) animal sounds- exploring sounds that animals make to communicate
    such as whales for example
  • e) foam printing- an art activity drawing
    on a foam plate to make an imprint on paper (using acrylic paint), and
  • f) picture description- students face a partner with a divider in
    front of them and describe a picture to the person facing them. They
    later compare the drawing to the actual picture. We are doing this in
    two days, the students divided in 6 groups, teachers and aides
    assisting. All 3 groups are meeting in different classrooms and
    outdoors, rotating every 30 minutes. Each students wears a badge/card
    that has a list of all the activities and the room they have to go to.
    It also has order in which they visit each activity. There is a time
    when everybody is together and we view a pertinent video clip. We
    chose a short 20 min. movie called Deaf Like Me and a clip from a
    movie about Helen Keller. The teachers are having discussions in
    class about the challenges of communicating when there are physical
    obstacles. It's been a lot of fun!

Return to Communication Unit

web site copyright ©2003-2013 by Mathew Needleman