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ConverStation Review by Courtney LarsonConverStation Graphic Expression Workbook
Say It Right, LLC
PO Box 651
Tybee Island, GA 31328
ConverStation is a board game designed to help improve communication skills. It is marketed for ages 5 through adult and can be used by both special education students and regular students.
The game consists of a game board, a die, pawns, and 240 questions printed on cards. These questions are broken down into four different groups of 60 questions each: "Wh-" questions, "How Do You . . ." questions, "Tell About . . ." questions, and "If I . . ." questions. Within each group, there are 20 questions for children, 20 questions for adults, and 20 questions for both adults and children. Each question card has an additional two or three follow-up questions as well. Each of the four groups of questions is a different color, and these correspond to squares on the game board. The questions are quite varied; some examples are:
- "How do you eat pizza?"
- "If I were a police officer, I would . . ."
- "What is your schedule each day?"
- "Tell about how you like to celebrate your birthday."
To play the game, a player rolls the die and moves his pawn that number of spaces. He then chooses a question card that matches the color of the space he lands on. Another player (or the teacher) reads the question, and the player answers the question, along with any follow-up questions that are asked. The first player to make it around the board wins.
The ConverStation Graphic Expression Workbook can be used alone or to reinforce the skills taught in the game. It is broken down into four chapters that correspond to the same categories as the game play cards. Once again, there are activities that are designed for children, for adults, and for both children and adults. At the end of each chapter, there is a list that cross-references the game cards and the activity sheets in the workbook. Activities in the reproducible 150-page workbook include writing about the favorite thing you like to eat at a restaurant, putting together a "how to" manual for kids, writing down instructions for activities such as building a sandcastle or riding a bike, and using a Venn diagram to list the similarities and differences between spending the night at home versus spending the night at a hotel.
I think ConverStation and the companion workbook are both well-done products. My sons are shy and are often caught off guard by questions they are asked when we are out. The ConverStation questions can help us practice answering in complete sentences while looking people in the eye. The game format makes it fun. The exercises in the workbook will help improve written communication as well, while getting the student to think about the answers to different types of questions. Overall, I would recommend both of these products to any parent looking for a way to improve their child's communication skills.