This back to school fun bundle is perfect for a public speaking and debate class, or indeed for any ELA class where the teacher wishes to spend the first 10 classes on oral communication rather than written activities. The order in which these public speaking and debate activities is used can be varied, but they are presented in the optimal order.
The emphasis on impromptu speaking means that students will become accustomed to thinking on their feet from the very beginning of the year.
Back to school impromptu speaking topics
These 32 speech topics are real crowd pleasers. Speaking for a minute on these fun impromptu topics about their holiday will introduce the idea to students that they need to be active contributors in your class! A small peer feedback handout is included – ‘Two terrifics and a tweak’ – so that students can give each other both positive feedback and one suggestion for any future public speaking opportunities.
Back to school fun story telling and getting to know you activities
Both of these fun back to school story telling oral activities can be used as getting to know you icebreakers, OR with students who know each other already. None of the speaking prompts require just ‘yes’ or no responses. Students will really need to communicate together to be able to narrate each other’s stories to the rest of the class. The first exercise focuses on summer stories, such as the day from the holidays that the student would most like to repeat. This activity is best performed on the first day or two of the new term. Just photocopy a one page fill-in-the-blanks story guidance handout for each student, and you are ready to go!
The second exercise is a more general getting-to-know-you activity. It has only a couple of summer questions and therefore can be done at any time during the first few weeks of term. In this rapidly moving exercise, circulate around the room in speed dating style. Interviewers do not ask for stories of events, but ask for feedback to a question about the other student’s tastes and interests. Each of the 15 questions reveals a lot about the type of person the other student is. It helps tell the story of the student themselves, not just the events that happened to them. Unlike the first purely oral exercise, this activity culminates in a short piece of writing. Detailed instructions for both teachers and students are included.
Back to school debate activity
This back to school debate activity helps ease students gently into both the school year and the art of public speaking and debate. Instead of using the traditional two person team format, this activity calls upon students to debate one-on-one using fun back to school topics like Be it resolved that winter vacations are better than summer vacations. Within a one hour lesson they face four different 'opponents' and debate four different topics from a choice of eight. They give short speeches and both ask questions and answer their opponents. At the end of each round they fill out a brief peer evaluation and a brief self evaluation.
What this resource contains:
A detailed lesson plan.
A list of 8 topics.
A printable two sided graphic organizer for students to organize their debate outline and possible questions.
A printable page containing four peer evaluations.
A printable page containing four self evaluations.
Impromptu speaking mini-unit
There are seven detailed lesson plans in this mini-unit
Lesson 1: speed dating: speaking in front of one other person
Lesson 2: sales exercise: speaking in front of a small group
Lesson 3: speaking in front of a small group about a serious topic
Lesson 4: games to emphasize the importance of body language
Lesson 5: hot air balloon debate: briefly speaking in front of the class
Lessons 6 and 7: speaking in front of the whole class
Printables for students
Handout #1: Impromptu topics
Handout #2: Peer evaluation form
Handout #3: Desert island exercise
Handout #4: Impromptu speaking tips
Handout #5: Middle School topics
Handout #6: High School topics
Handout #7: Self-evaluation form
Handout #8: Tongue twisters
Handout #9: Impromptu speaking advice
If your students enjoy these public speaking experiences, there are more in my
Brain Teaser Bundle grades 9-12
For mores seasonal resources try
Halloween Fast Fun Debate and Public Speaking Activity
Want to have students debate about literature for a refreshing change from traditional essays?
Debate ANY novel or play! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this product - or any other product in my store - please write to me at email@example.com. I would love to hear from you!
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