Listen To Me!
- Grades: 3–5
- Unit Plan:
- Present a family story as an oral report using techniques learned in class.
- Books: Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco and Dreaming of America by Eve Bunting
- Oral Report Practice Instructions
- Oral Speaking Tips
- Rubric for Family Story
- Students should have done the interview assignment from last lesson.
Set Up and Prepare
- List oral speaking tips on large chart paper:
- Speak loudly and clearly.
- Make eye contact.
- Stand comfortably and quietly.
- Enjoy yourself.
- Provide Oral Report Practice Instructions to students.
- Prepare an overhead of a completed Interview Sheet filled with information about the teacher's family story.
Step 1: Mini-lesson 1: Audience: Today the class brings back their interview sheet. Some areas will be filled in and some won't. At this point it is important to make the children aware of the audience to whom they will be telling the story. That could be a deciding factor as to which story they choose to tell. A storyteller or writer always wants to speak or write to the interests of his/her audience. On the overhead projector, the teacher will have filled out an interview sheet about his or her own family story. From the sheet, the teacher will lead the students to see that some areas have lots of detail and some don't; some would be interesting to adults and some to students.
Together the teacher and students should pick one story for the teacher to develop from her interview sheet. After this "teacher modeling," the students break into small groups to find the one story each student wants to develop from his or her interview sheet. Now it's time to go home with their ideas and check with their parents for appropriate details. (Parents need to have final say in what their children share in class.)
Step 2: Mini-lesson 2: Oral Presentation: The teacher will give a brief introduction as to what an oral report is. Each child will have a copy of the instruction sheet and the rubric checklist. Put up the Oral Speaking Tips chart and go over the directions on the instruction sheet, explaining each area. Each student will practice in front of the class. They will say a simple sentence aloud such as "My name is _______________ and I am a fourth grader." During this, they will practice projecting their voices, standing with legs shoulder-width apart, hands comfortably at their side. The teacher will model this first. As students practice in front of the class, remember to ask other students to point out what they see their classmates doing correctly. (Homework: Students are to practice their family story at home.)
Step 3: Mini-lesson 3: Expression: Today we'll have the students practice a bit longer sentence, emphasizing expression. You may use something like "Hello, my name is ________and I'd like to tell you a wonderful story about my family." Every child says the same sentence for comfort level. If they change it a bit during the presentation, that's fine. The teacher will model the sentence with emphasis on different words to show variety and expression. Divide the students into small groups so they are able to practice. Let each child say his/her sentence out loud to the class. The teacher should periodically make positive comments on the good presentation techniques that are seen and heard. Opportunities are also here for students to compliment each other. At the completion of this exercise, the teacher asks the students what they think they still need to practice. (Homework: Students are to practice their family story presentation at home.)
Step 4: Mini-Lesson 4: Presentation: During this week the children should have been practicing their oral presentations at home for homework. Steps 1through 3 should be presented on consecutive days, but the presentation of their family story can be done several days later. Usually it takes two periods during social studies for the presentations. The teacher takes a picture of each child holding his/her artifact.
Use this experience to segue into paragraph writing. Using their oral stories, students could write a paragraph that would accompany the picture of themselves and their artifacts to make a beautiful bulletin board.
- Are students beginning to feel that they and their families are a part of history?
- Are artifacts and primary/secondary sources comfortable terms for students?
- How did they do with their first oral report?
Observe and assess student progress during the mini-lessons. Use the rubric given to the students to grade their family story on content and oral presentation.