Wednesday, September 19, 2007

High School Speech Class

The past 6 weeks I've been busy putting together my material for the high school speech class I'm teaching at our homeschool cooperative school. It's a daunting job sifting through all of the things that COULD be taught, and deciding on the few things that are essential. Here is what I've finalized:

Speech Class Objectives:

  • To introduce the student to different kinds of speeches
  • To learn how to outline a speech
  • Develop the ability to evaluate a speech
  • To use gestures and body language appropriately when speaking
  • To accumulate oral speaking experiences

Class Schedule:

Week One: Students were asked to bring 1 to 3 items with them to class that would give the audience an idea about their personality. Each student spent a little time introducing themself and telling about the props.
We discussed basic public speaking tips and then listened to a speech given by the assistant teacher. She broke every rule in the book (on purpose). Her written speech was pulled, crumpled from her purse. It had spaghetti sauce on it, rendering parts illegible. She chewed her gum furiously and snapped it. Twirling her hair with her finger, she painstakingly limped through the speech. It was hilarious!!!
This was definitely an ice breaker, and we felt more like comrades after having a good laugh together. The speech, however poorly delivered, had great usefulness. We were able to discuss the important elements of public speaking with more understanding after her "performance". Then we outlined the speech, which fell neatly into 3 points. This was their example for the next assignment.

Assignment: Prepare an admiration speech. The purpose of this speech will be to inform your audience about a person you look up to, respect, or admire. It must have a definite opening, 3 main points, and an appropriate conclusion.
The speech is to be delivered at the next class meeting, and an outline handed in to the teacher.

Week Two: We will learn how to evaluate speeches. Students will present their admiration speech and will critique each other on paper.
Assignment: Prepare a speech of demonstration for next class

Week Three: Deliver demonstration speeches
Evaluate peers on paper
We will also do an exercise to learn how to eliminate "filler" words like "uh"
Assignment: select and prepare poetry for recitation at the next class meeting

Week Four: Poetry Recitation
Deliver impromptu speeches as time permits
Assignment: Select a historical speech for final project and become familiar with it

Week Five: Read historical speech to class
We will discuss and analyze these speeches as a group
Listen to a few famous speeches done professionally on CD
Assignment: memorize and polish the delivery of the historical speech

Week Six: Present the historical speech as a polished, final project. Must be memorized. This will serve as dress rehearsal for the evening presentation event, at which time parents and guests will serve as an audience.


Anonymous said...

Oh, how I wish I had taken speech in high school! My memories of public speaking during that era of my life are all overshadowed by the memory of my 10th grade English teacher telling me to make sure I didn't wear a skirt for the second he could see my knees shaking during the first one! Thanks for the tip, Mr. King.
I love the idea of the "bad" speech. It really magnifies all of the areas at once, and will make the students so much more aware of their future presentations.

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