Writing Speeches

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SWBAT organize and plan an expository speech with regard to purpose, audience and length

Big Idea

Determine purpose and audience when choosing a focus in a speech.


This lesson is part of a series of lessons related to The Canterbury Tales: A Knight's Tale. Students are writing explanatory speeches covering the topic of friendship vs. love as it relates to the main characters Palamon and Arcite. In this specific lesson students are using note cards to organize their speeches and to achieve the right time. 

Organizing Ideas

50 minutes

The students spend the entire class period working on their note cards, writing their speeches verbatim and then going to the gym or library to practice.

I move around the room helping them with focus issues, or enumeration issues, or length issues. I also help them work on sexist or biased language and coming up with strong conclusions. 

I have a sneaky suspicion that some of them aren't really practicing in the gym or hallway, because when they come back and I ask them for a time, they can't give me one.  

About half-way through the class I tell them they will have to practice at home and I won't let them out of the room unless they start giving me a time when they come back.  This helps a little, but they start coming back with times of 1:25 or, in one case, :56 seconds. Some of the students will stand at my desk and practice, and that works too. But many of them are just too nervy. 

By the time class is over, I feel like only a handful of students are going to be ready. And since I'm gone during the next class, they will have a sub for their last day of preparations.  They get one last reminder of the need to be prepared and the expectation that as seniors not only does every assignment count, but they are also expected to complete them fairly independently.