Reflection: Student Ownership Take a Deep Breath: Speech Delivery (Day 2 of 2) - Section 2: Speech Delivery


So, this year's speech topics were much different from last. While that has definitely put a strain our integration for the past few weeks, it has been really interesting to see where my students interests are. Our speech topics varied from controversial issues such as same-sex marriage/adoption to the importance of art and music education in schools. I had a student talk about her love of running and the benefits others can garner from taking up this hobby. I had a student talk about his experiences with the foster care system and the need for reform within it. Other topics included rugby, animal kill shelters, the high cost of school lunches, boy scouting, cell phone regulations at school, abstinence education, school dances, social media, etc. I even had two students very persuasively argue against required homework in high school.

I had one student who actually requested that she be able to give her speech to all of her classmates tomorrow because as she was practicing with peers, she realized that very few of them were aware of her topic and the concerns she holds about it. She will deliver her speech to the whole class tomorrow about the destructive practices of palm oil harvesting in developing nations.

Overall, the completely open-ended nature of this project worked really well. The students were required to take a topic through an entire, even if short, inquiry process and I think it helped their speeches to be stronger in the end because they cared about what they were talking about.

There were still some weaknesses in regards to technique. For some reason, about half of my students neglected to come up with a hook and opted to start their speeches by stating their name and their topic. Sigh. This is frustrating given that was one of the main teaching activities that we worked on. I wonder if I should have had them work on hooks specifically with peer feedback earlier in the process. I may have to build that time in next year.

Generally speaking, though, I am very pleased with my students' performance on this assessment and am excited to build similar, smaller tasks into later units this year.

  Variety of Topics and Techniques
  Student Ownership: Variety of Topics and Techniques
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Take a Deep Breath: Speech Delivery (Day 2 of 2)

Unit 7: Argument: Persuasive Speaking and Rhetorical Anlaysis
Lesson 11 of 11

Objective: SWBAT present an argument clearly, concisely, and logically by delivering their final polished speeches.

Big Idea: Public speaking: the most relevant skill we teach in English Language Arts...and the scariest...

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