It is important for students to begin practicing public speaking as early as possible. Public speaking in front of an audience is a critical component of the speaking domain of language arts, as well as a skill required for most academic and professional communication. Throughout the lesson, students will begin the process of identifying information to share and learn how to share that information in an engaging manner. The lesson provides practice of a skill they will continually draw upon, as well as laying a foundation that will hold up as demands of preparing and presenting information grow throughout their school career.
Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction
- Call students to the carpet/front of the room to sit together. Hold up a photo of an animal that you have chosen to present about. Run through your model presentation using several visuals and include between 5-10 facts tied to visuals. Present in a meaningful and interactive way (asking questions, having students guess and predict, etc.).
- When you are done presenting, say, “We can find out about topics by reading about them in articles or books, but it can be a nice change of pace/more engaging to hear someone tell us information. It gives our brains a chance to learn through listening, not simply reading. It gives the person who is presenting information a chance to share their knowledge, which also helps your brain learn it better. When we speak to present information, this is called an ‘oral presentation’.” Being comfortable and confident while you orally present information to others is part of ‘public speaking’. We are going to work on our public speaking skills this week.
- Ask students if they have heard the term “public speaking” before, and if they have any experience with public speaking. Ask them what they think are the key components of being a great public speaker. Ask for responses, and clarify if needed. Some suggestions might include, You make it fun and creative, look at your audience, and use visual examples or components to create a rich experience, make sure you know your information, don’t rely on your notes so much that you can’t look at your audience.
- Next, ask students how they should behave as listeners to a presentation. Say, “How do you behave when someone is presenting to you?” List response on the board- such as, look a the speaker, sit quietly, pay attention to what they are saying and showing, be involved when they offer a time for questions and comments, etc.
- Explain that students will be selecting a topic to speak about, within the topic parameters you select (make sure you pick something that has enough options for all students to have a unique presentation within the topic).
- Have students individually brainstorm facts they already know about a few subtopic options within the topic. For example, if you gave the option of reporting about a country, a student might list all they know about France or all they know about Malaysia.
- Have the students choose their topic, and then guide them through research and collecting information as a whole class using the model presentation material included. The first step should be collecting facts.
- Read aloud the sample research paper provided. At the end of reading, have students identify the five main facts they think would be important to include in a presentation.
- Guide students toward choosing main idea facts, facts that are important to understanding the topic, in this case, bees. Point out facts that should be included, and details that can be omitted when they create their own notes for the public speaking.
- Emphasize that gathering information for a presentation does not just mean retelling word for word. Public speaking means taking key information, sharing it orally to an audience while making it engaging and memorable.
Common Core State Standards:
Class Sessions (45 minutes): 1- 2 class sessions.
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