Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Speeches /Oral language

Speeches /Oral language – Making speeches purposeful and relevant.

Speeches – confident students love them and the less confident hate them. Interestingly, it is with speeches we are trying to build confidence. They can become a chance for the confident kids to achieve/shine (which is good) and unfortunately others will stress and often we find that speeches have a negative affect on confidence.

So why do we continue to put students through speeches when oral language is covered through discussion, sharing of work, current events, reading, presentation of inquiries, reporting back on group and individual work and daily class work. What we have done in the Senior School is take a creative and practical approach to speeches.

Speeches are integrated into our current unit of work, making each speech purposeful and of value to the whole class, each 3-4 minute speech has a message for the class. Last year we had same wonderful speeches giving advice and guidance on topics like: coping with bullying, success at school, peer pressure, role modelling, media images, avoiding smoking and a range of other informative topics. It is extremely powerful have students speak and give advice to their peers and the whole speech process becomes very successful. Sorry students you can’t do your speech on chocolate, farts, bogies or dolls.

This term the big idea is: Who am I and what do I want to be seen as? Mana Tangata The power of the person.

Students must create, write a speech or make a movie about themselves.(this will be the inquiry for the term) The speech could include interests, family information , special qualities, differences, difficulties, attributes. Or it could be on an aspect about themselves. Maybe about a food allergy, a talent, a strength. They may want to talk about their heritage, their nationality, a learning difficultly, a family member. The key is that students share who they are and become role models. Encouraging their peers to accept others, understand that everyone is unique and special, celebrate diversity, embrace difference and develop confidence in themselves, particularly in the writing of the speech. They don’t need to reveal personal secrets.

Also the writing of the speech will be carefully planned and carefully constructed. We will be making links to learning in literacy, exploring writing styles, speech writing and historical speeches. We will encourage high level writing techniques and the use of language devices and skills such as: rhetorical questions, exaggeration, quotations, alliteration, metaphors, similes, personification, personal stories and possible rhyming. We will also encourage the use of ICT and creativity.

Alternative, creative approaches and ideas for students:

Create a video news article about yourself
Create a documentary on yourself
A week in the life.
A photo diary accompanied by a spoken explanation
A blog – accompanied by a spoken explanation
A music video.
Positive you tube message