Wednesday, September 08, 2010

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 3-5 minute speech has a message for the class. This year we have 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.

This term the big idea is: ‘The Power of the Word’

Students had to create, write a speech which delivers a message of support or guidance to their peer group. (this is the inquiry for the term) The speech could include advice on how to make friends, on self image, confidence, consequences, differences, difficulties Or it could be on an aspect about themselves. They could to talk about their heritage, their nationality, a learning difficultly, a family member. The key is that students become role models and provide useful information for others.

Also the writing of the speech was be carefully planned and carefully constructed. We made 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.