Comm./Writing by Michael (Q2)

High School Public Speaker
Course Description:

This course prepares students for academic, informal, and professional situations where possessing excellent speaking skills will yield opportunities. Students will participate in six engaging lessons designed to stimulate self discovery, instill confidence, and build fundamental leadership skills. Topics include: employing literature as a lens for introspection, identifying and capitalizing on what an audience seeks, and using one's own interests and background to establish commonality. Students will learn speaking skills aimed at 1-to-1, 1-to-few, and 1-to-many audiences, verbal and non-verbal communication, and techniques of oral presentation.

Lesson 1: Students will discover their personality type, possible suitable careers, and careers to avoid. Each student will present a dialogue to the class regarding their findings, individual background, and their personal areas of interest.
Reading: The Last Question by Isaac Asimov
As one progresses through life, there are certain questions that are seemingly unanswerable. Only until later stages are reached will the answers reveal themselves. Similarly, the acquisition of knowledge may be viewed through the same lens. The learning process can be a difficult and time consuming process. However, key skills and knowledge gained may serve you well in future unanticipated and critical situations.

Lesson 2: Students will be taught to give a compelling first impression to a new friend or acquaintance.
Reading: The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
True love cannot be determined through monetary value. Rather, it is demonstrated through strength of the heart. Similarly, it can be argued that deep knowledge and the confidence that comes with it cannot be faked -- nor is there a monetary price that is necessarily associated with it. Like love, deep knowledge and having confidence in yourself can be powerful and overwhelming.

Lesson 3: Students will be engaged in a college admissions interview and receive feedback from the university's admissions board.
Reading: The Nightingale and the Rose, by Oscar Wilde

Lesson 4: Each student will identify an event in his or her past they are proud of and use it to establish commonality with the audience.
Reading: The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mark Twain

Lesson 5: Students will engage in a job interview and receive questions and feedback from the employer and board of directors.
Reading: "The Daemon Lover" by Shirley Jackson

Lesson 6: Students will pitch a business idea to a group of investors and future business partners. They will be asked how the business will operate, and what kinds of teammates they need.

Young Public Speaker
Course Description:
Students will participate in six engaging lessons designed to stimulate self discovery, instill confidence, and build fundamental leadership skills. Topics will include verbal and non-verbal communication, persuasion, and techniques of oral presentation. Students will to deliver short, informal presentations as well as longer speeches.

Lesson 1: Students will discover their personality type and better understand their interests. They will share with the class a hobby they enjoy and what makes it enjoyable.
Reading: "Seventh Grade" by Gary Soto
Life is filled with unexpected twists and turns. Middle school can be intimidating, and is no exception. In the story, Victor falls in love with Teresa and tries to impress her with his non-existent French skills and avoids embarrassement from Mr. Bueller.

Write about a time you experienced something pleasantly unexpected.

Lesson 2: Students share their favorite toy and persuade the class to purchase it.
Reading: The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe
The narrator in Poe's famous poem is trapped beneath the raven's ominous shadow. As we progress through life, fears and obstacles abound, but it is important to understand and overcome our fears.

Write about one thing you are or were fearful of. Did you overcome it?

Lesson 3: Each student will run for class President. The rest of the class will vote.
Reading: "Charles" by Shirley Jackson

Lesson 4: Each student will be given an unknown object in class. They will make a presentation describing what it is, how it may be used, and why others may find it useful or desirable.
Reading: "The Fly" by Katherine Mansfield

Lesson 5: Students share what they wish to be when they grow up and persuade the rest of the class to pursue that profession.
Reading: "The Fun They Had" by Issac Asimov

Lesson 6: The teacher of the school is accepting submissions for possible field trips. Each student makes a case for the trip of his or her choice.