Do you enjoy talking with friends, telling stories, or sharing information, photos, and videos? In a 4-H Communications project, you will explore the world of communication and learn more about yourself and how you communicate with others.

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Exploring 4-H

Exploring 4-H Communications Spark Activity: Make a Sandwich

Find a partner, this could be a sibling, parent, or friend. Gather supplies to make a sandwich. Be sure to ask your partner about allergies before deciding what kind of sandwich to make. Stand back to back with your partner so you cannot see them. Have your partner use the supplies while you explain how to make the sandwich. Your partner should only do what they are told and not ask any questions. When your partner has completed making the sandwich, you may turn and face the sandwich. Talk about what you see and what could have made the sandwich making process go more smoothly. If time and supplies allow, switch roles and complete the activity again. Reflect: How did the sandwich making processes vary? Was it difficult not being able to ask questions or ask for clarification? Why or why not?

It is important to be clear and deliberate when we communicate. Many times, we may know exactly how to do something and when we try to explain or communicate it to others, we aren’t sending a clear message and others may interpret our message differently. How can you make sure the message you want to deliver comes across clearly and deliberately?

4-H Project Levels and Goals
  • Practice active listening with a partner
  • Understand communication preferences
  • Make introductions
  • Write a letter to a friend or family member
  • Learn about conflict resolution 
  • Master communicating on social media 
  • Understand how culture impacts communication 
  • Write a press release
  • Learn about electronic communication
  • Evaluate advertisements
  • Write a resume and cover letter
  • Become a digital storyteller
  • Debate an issue
Put Your Project Into Action

Show Your Skills

  • Create a print or digital portfolio of project activities

Service and Leadership

  • Volunteer to do the marketing for a club fundraiser
  • Create a presentation about an issue affecting your community and present it at a 4-H club meeting, school, or community meeting
  • Volunteer to teach Cloverbuds a new skill from your project area
  • Present a demonstration or speech at a 4-H club meeting or help another member prepare theirs
  • Volunteer to serve as a 4-H Ambassador for your county or state


  • Shadow an author or journalist
  • Submit your articles and stories to writing contests and local papers
  • Develop a list of speakers to offer to local organizations
  • Consult and help others on their stories, speeches, and presentations
  • Create a digital newsletter/podcast for your club

Technology Connection

  • Video writing, editing, and production
  • Social media management
  • Podcast writing, editing, and production
  • Photo editing

Connecting with a Mentor

  • Local media outlet (newspaper, television, radio)
  • Local businesses or organizations with communication staff
  • Local church administration or leaders
  • Local school administrators


  • Speaking for Illinois 4-H
  • 4-H Public Speaking Contest
  • Local writing contests

Project Manuals & Exhibit Requirements

  • Communications Module 1          
  • Communications Module 1 Digital Download
  • Communications Module 2                
  • Communications Module 2 Digital Download      
  • Communications Module 3                        
  • Communications Module 3 Digital Download    
  • CREATIVE WRITING: The Writer in You                    
  • PUBLIC SPEAKING: Finding Your Voice

Purchase manuals on the Shop Illinois 4-H Store

View exhibit requirements and scoresheets on the Illinois State Fair page.

reporter on site speaking into camera holding microphone
  • Author
  • Journalist
  • Communications Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Educator
  • Corporate Consultant
  • Clergy
  • Social Worker
  • Psychologist
  • Customer Service
  • Human Resources
  • Professor
  • Speech Writer
  • Song Writer
Start a Conversation

What is your preferred communication style? How do you interact with others who have a different communication style from you? How would you convince others to do …? What is unique about the way people in your culture communicate? How can you be a better listener?


North Dakota State University 4-H project sheet

Shelby Carlson, University of Illinois Extension 4-H Youth Development Educator

4-H Spark Sheets are a collaborative effort of 4-H staff, volunteers, alumni and teens from across Illinois. A big thanks to the many contributors and reviewers!