Respectful Communication on Zoom

Many schools will be using Zoom for the coming school year to connect with students online.

Teachers can encourage students to work together while apart using the following ideas. These can be adapted for various grades.

Zoom Personal ID

Invite students to create their own greeting for Zoom. When they sign on and off, or acknowledge others, they will use their own personal I.D. Whether it is the peace sign, a bow, nod, or combination of gestures, each student will have a way to express him/herself.

What is It?

Students are assigned ahead of time to place an object in a bag or box. When class meets online, a student will be chosen to show the bag or box and begin to describe the item without showing it. For example, the student could say, “It is square and green and came from the kitchen.” Other students will ask questions or venture a guess as to what the item is. Students must remember to take turns and use respectful language as they respond. Since it might take a while for students to guess the contents, this activity could be spaced out over time so that only two students would present in each class session.

ABC Animals and Places

Students will use the alphabet to match an animal and a location, for example, “A: An alligator from Arizona.” Students can be called in random order or go around the Zoom frame. The teacher might want to eliminate the letters Q and X. Younger students who might not be familiar with geography can name an animal and a food, such as, “The dog likes donuts.”

Once Upon a Time

The teacher will have several pictures of animals, people, locations, and other items. A story begins with the teacher showing a photo. A student will be called on to begin the story using the photo as a prompt. Other students will continue to develop the plot. The teacher will change photos when students signal that the plot needs to advance. Responses should be limited to two to three sentences each. 

Dr. Regina Rees
Tools for Life Certified Lead Trainer
Youngstown OH


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