What is Communications?

Communication is the process of sending and receiving messages. We communicate with each other daily through several different forms of communication. We use both verbal and nonverbal cues to send messages to each other. Speaking and writing are forms of verbal communication. Nonverbal communication uses ways other than words, such as body language, eye contact, and touch.

Think about how you have a conversation with a friend. If you are telling a story about how you saw a bear on a camping trip, you can use several forms of communication to share your experience. One way to tell a story is to use your words. For instance, you can tell your friend that the bear was taller than your tent, but you can also use your hands to show how big the bear was by widening your arms and imitating the bear’s movements in nonverbal ways. To be an effective communicator is to use these forms of communication appropriately, and to make sure the people who are listening or watching understand you as you want them to.


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1. Watch the Video

Watch the video below about storytelling produced by Pixar, the filmmakers that brought you Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story.

2. Complete the Ad Lib

Try our Ad Lib activity by writing above the parentheses to make the story come to life. We gave you hints of the types of words that will make the story make sense. The most important thing is to be creative and have fun! If you want to write your own story, go ahead! Click here to download the Communications Ad Lib.

3. Complete the Coloring Page

Color! Another way to communicate is to tell a story through images. Fill out the coloring page and think about what is going on in the drawing. What’s in the picture? Who is in the picture? What are their names? What are they doing and why? Click here to download the coloring page.

4. Download Your Badge!

Congratulations, you’ve finished the communications activity! Don’t forget to download your Communications Badge and add it to your MFA Kids Activity Passport. Remember, one completed activity equals one prize; five completed activities equals two prizes!

Ask a Professional Communicator a Question!
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Abbi Russell

Senior Communications & Outreach Specialist

(360) 433-0223