Just Say It! Communication Skills Resource Book Review

Tuesday, November 15, 2016



Just Say It! book cover by Kathie Guild


Because positive communication is a major theme in my 4th grade Life Skills curriculum this year, I was excited to check out Just Say It! by Kathie Guild. The cover says "6 Fun and innovative lessons designed to teach students communication skills to use in everyday interactions." It states grades 2-5. At $22, it's pretty well priced.

This link has 16 sample pages, including the Table of Contents, which I always find useful: Just Say It! Sample Pages

My take aways:


  • Definitely more for grades 4 and up - I think 5th/6th is probably the sweet spot. Much of the wording (boundaries, assumptions) as well as the subjects of the role plays (borrowing clothes, working on projects of out school together) are well outside the realm of my elementary students.
  • Lessons 1-5 are more about introducing ideas/concepts related to communication. They each include a series of short activities, most of which I thought were good. I will note that many of these require (cheap) materials and/or some prep work.
  • While the role plays are for an older crowd, I think they were good and I always appreciate finding these ready-made!
  • Unfortunately, there is very little (very, very little) in the way of activities to actually practice/reinforce/apply the concepts. I like my lessons to do more than introduce/plant seeds, so this was a little disappointing to me.
  • There's a BINGO and a word search included. I just feel like these are cop outs and I often feel a little bummed to find them in a resource book created in the last 5 years.


Best use:

I imagine this being really great for if you push into 5th-7th grade classrooms made up of students with high-functioning autism or that otherwise have somewhat significant communication struggles. It could be great for a small group on social skills, but many of the activities were designed for a whole class and can't be easily edited into a small group.

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