Conversation Time

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Conversation Time
Language - Language Foundation
Materialstaped line in a large circle on floor
vary objects according to lesson

In this Circle Time activity the child or children engage in a conversation about an anecdote, object, or topic with the teacher, so they can learn or practice sitting, listening, and speaking.


  1. Invite the children to sit at the circle.
  2. Explain that you have something to share with them.
  3. Share an object, picture, or story for discussion and questioning. (Mr. Rogers does this exceedingly well when showing an object to children.)
  4. Allow the children to take turns commenting.
  5. After sufficient discussion, wrap up the conversation and dismiss the children from the circle.


  • The teacher needs to establish the proper way to sit on the line.
  • Be aware of your posture, so the children will copy you.
  • Establish a system for taking turns talking, such as raising a hand or passing a special object.
  • Try to keep the children on the topic at hand.
  • Keep the length of conversation appropriate to the developmental level of the children.
  • Use verbal and non-verbal cues to encourage conversation.

Points of Interest

  • Taking turns during a conversation
  • Objects and topics of discussion
  • Different points of view
  • Difference between a question and a comment

Control of Error

  • The teacher as moderator
  • The established procedure for Circle Time activities

Variations and Extensions

  • Bring two pictures and discuss similarities and differences
  • Do conversation time with a small group of children
  • Use a book as a conversation starter
  • Problem solving as a group
  • As the children get older, the teacher can encourage full sentence contributions


Any object which might be used as a topic of conversation. Watch old episodes of Mister Rogers Neighborhood for ideas for objects and ways to discuss them.

Things to bring for conversation time:

  • Musical instruments
  • Art prints
  • Everyday objects to discuss how they are made
  • Objects or clothing from different countries
  • Objects from nature

Further Reading