Public Speaking & Writing by Michael (Q3)


  1. The class will review sentence structure and improving essay writing prose. Students will speak about their goals for the rest of their elementary school careers and what they are expecting from middle school. Students' identities, objectives, and accomplishments will be shared together with the class, commencing Q3. Students will engage in two speaking exercises in class: 1) Discuss an event in your life that had unexpected outcome and 2) Why I feel tremendous gratitude to my parents.
  2. "The Rocking Horse Winner," by D. H. Lawrence Hester is an unhappy woman who feels her family does not have enough money. Her son Paul wins a large sum on a bet, but dies after falling off of his rocking-horse. The class will engage in sharing personal experiences that were seemingly good on the surface, but ultimately resulted in poor outcomes. Students engage in a speaking exercise called "Boring or Not Boring," where they recount their past week's experiences and are evaluated by their peers on 3 criteria: speaking tone, eye contact, and whether the presentation was "boring" or "not boring." Presentations rated as "boring," are elaborated upon and students are provided feedback as to how they may improve. Later, students engage in a reading exercise with the instructor where they carefully analyze a passage. Students are asked about the passage's details and why they are significant, the author's writing techniques and tone, interactions between characters of the story, and vocabulary words. The instructor goes into great depth into each of these areas and students learn professional reading techniques that will carry over into their writing assignments. 
  3. "The Necklace," by Guy de Maupassant This story is famous for its twist ending that is simultaneously ironic and satirical. The class's speeaking excercise will revolve around the criticality of not overextending one's resources. Students will learn about the elements of satire and irony and how to incorporate them into their writing. Students receive in-depth feedback on their previously submitted writing samples and engage in additional critical thought exercises posed by the instructor: what is the author thinking when he wrote this work? Why did the author employ his choice of vocabulary words? What do these words difficult mean? Students dive deeply into the text while the instructor engages students by asking critical questions. Students take turns reading sections from the passages out loud using correct public speaking techniques while overcoming fear.
  4. "The Treasure in the Forest," By H. G. Wells Evans and Hooker are on a canoe approaching land. They trying to decipher a roughly drawn map they stole from a man after overhearing him talk about a treasure he had found and reburied. The class will discuss the consequences of greed and bad deeds. Students will be asked to provide examples from their experiences how chasing the wrong desires can lead to a poor outcome. Students understand the importance of the "follow up" technique. Students participate in 1-to-1 conversation with a chosen peer while the rest of the class spectates. The student's partner will pose 2-3 follow up questions in order to construct a conversation and enrich the engagement level. Additionally, an in depth writing session will be conducted, and the instructor will review techniques for writing a solid high school level introductory paragraph that includes the author, name of the work, and a thesis statement with 3 subject areas.
  5. "The Monkey's Paw," by W.W. Jacobs Three wishes are granted to the owner of the monkey's paw, but come at an enormous price. Students discuss the consequences of interfering with "fate" how to discern life's more prudent paths. The class will engage in a writing exercise that deals with compare and contrast in order to illustrate a particular point. 
    Speaking exercise: Students learn about the imporantance of first impressions, and how to make a formal introduction of themselves to a new acquaintance. Students practice with a chosen partner in front of the class and learn key skills such as asking appropriate followup questions, maintaining eye contact, and using appropriate body language. Students are also taught how to conclude their introductory meeting.
  6. "The Veldt," by Ray Bradbury In the story, a mother and father struggle with their technologically advanced home taking over their role as parents, and their children becoming uncooperative as a result of their lack of discipline. A bit Asimovian in nature, The Veldt presents a different kind of technological twist. Students will discuss how technology presents advancement as well as drawbacks to society. There are always two sides to every coin, and the wise individual will always choose the middle (most unbiased) view.
    Speaking exercise:

    Students envision themselves as the CEO of their own company in 20 years. They are visiting a career fair in search of prospective employees and they describe the following to the applicants: 1) what their company does, and their day-to-day responsibilities as CEO, 2) what are the benefits of being an employee of their company and 3) why should talented candidates apply to become an employee of their company.

    After the CEO's presentation, the audience fields questions to the CEO, such as asking about the products in question being manufactured, and why they should choose to work for this company over a competitor's company. It is the CEO's job to respond and convince the applicants their company is the best to work for.