Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Speech Contest

How can I get people to listen to what I have to say? This is the question that the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students will be attempting to answer as they begin working on a speaking and listening unit that correlates with a national speaking competition. Each year our school participates in the Modern Woodmen of America's speech contest. The students in grades 4-8 write and present their own unique speeches about a provided topic. This year the topic is: Hunger in America. To begin this unit of study our class had a discussion about what we would have to do if we were going to prepare and present speeches that people would listen to. The following is a list of some of the things the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students said:

write an engaging lead
know your audience and appeal to them (choose a good topic)
stick to a central idea (focused topic)
add voice and personality
keep facts to the most important
use surprising or new information
give the audience something to think about
be enthusiastic
speak clearly
be aware of posture

As we work on this unit students will learn the importance of narrowing a broad topic, asking questions to guide research, locating important information, preparing organized writing pieces, writing powerful leads and conclusions, how to choose a high-interest topic for an audience, the many skills necessary to produce quality, effective writing pieces, and the traits of skilled speaking.

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