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Speak Up Please

Oral Presentation Options for Every Student / Learner
Oral Presentation Options for Every Student / Learner

Oral presentations take place almost weekly in my language arts classes. Public speaking, in my opinion, is a life skill. How many times have you asked a child, teen, or even adult to please speak up because they lack confidence to speak when all eyes are on them? I am guessing at least a few times you have either been on the receiving end of this phrase or maybe have spoken it yourself.

Oral presentations in a small group setting (15 or less), allow for a safe opportunity for a child to grow their public speaking skills. It also allows for constructive feedback, compliments, and they learn how to answer questions from their peers/audience.

Over the past few weeks my two older language arts groups researched a topic (grades 2-4 researched snakes and grades 4-6 a president of their choice). They then planned, wrote, and revised essays. In addition to their research and essays, they also chose a type of oral and visual presentation using a “Think Dot” sheet. The sheet had a wide variety of options, so each child could showcase their oral presentations in a way that was unique to how their brain is wired.

Some drew pictures or made clay objects; others created a movie or slide present with, while those with a math brain incorporated a tape measure of clock (showing the length of snakes or how long venom takes to harm a human). A few created poems, a song, and a rap! Another handful created posters (with); one created a crime scene board.

Allowing children to choose a method of presentation, which works best for their learning style and for their ability instills confidence and gives intrinsic motivation. This also allows some children to choose something simple if resources are unavailable (if completing at home) or crafts and technology are not their forte.

When each child is finished with their presentation, they have the opportunity to ask for compliments and questions. Each of the audience members must ask three questions and give three compliments over the course of the class's presentations. It is a great way to build confidence and also encourage active listening.

It is so heartwarming to see a child succeed and feel confident. Today, I saw every student of mine shine and it was the best day.


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