Well, my fourth grade students starting giving speeches this week, something I'm glad my fourth grade teachers didn't make us do!
I want them to learn they can share with a crowd what they know just off the top of their heads without needing note cards. And of course to be okay standing in front of crowd.
I use to hate it myself. But for them, since teachers tell students to be quiet a lot of times, I tell them it's a time for them to talk and be listened to for a short amount of time.
We start with 30 second speeches and go from there during the year. Each student picks a card out of a basket of things they probably know how to do (like make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, how to paddle a canoe or how to play ping-pong). They have ten minutes to think about what they want to say and make a prop if they think it will help.
I am always very proud of them, and I think they are proud of themselves.
The next one is 45 seconds and they get to pick the topic the night before.
Keep it up fourth graders!
© 2015 Peter J. Wilson
Peter Wilson teaches fourth grade at University Lake School, in Hartland, WI.