Public Speaking Unit | Public Speaking Activities | Christmas Standards Aligned

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33 pages + 7 slides
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Looking for powerful holiday lessons that will help you get to know your students on a deeper level while still teaching to the standards?

This unit on oral stories will help your students improve their public speaking skills and spend some time sharpening their storytelling skills. Students will start by listening to NPR holiday stories from The Moth and other shows. By discussing and analyzing those examples, by conducting interviews, and by working together with their peers to develop their own stories, they’ll work to complete the final project—a short oral story that they will perform for their class.

This might seem like a daunting task for some students, but the step-by-step process outlined here will take them through to the end in a low-key way. Your students will grow and stretch their comfort zones, but not all at once.

There are lesson plans here for 8-9 days of class, including the final presentation day. For each day, you will find a quick overview including approximate time lengths for each assignment as well as longer explanations of the activities and lessons. There are handouts provided for each step of the process as well.

When you teach with this resource you will:

quickly and easily plan your classes by following the clear, straightforward instructions

• have lots of flexibility in time and activities by choosing from the multiple options

get to know your students better when they tell stories about their own lives

• get your classes to spend quality time talking to their peers and their family and neighbors when they interview them about their own holiday stories

• challenge your students to grow their comfort zones by giving them concrete, scaffolded activities

improve the fellowship in your classroom when your students hear their peers’ stories

• listen to funny, sad, touching, short stories told on The Moth Radio hour and other NPR holiday specials

• get your classes excited about learning by moving through multiple short activities every day

strengthen your students' creative writing, storytelling, and public speaking skills by utilizing the proven lessons and activities

• get your students working together by structuring peer conferences with a ready-to-go handout

easily grade the final presentations on the spot using the provided rubric

• fulfill common core requirements for speaking and listening as well as for writing

go home for Christmas break with a sense of accomplishment but nothing to grade

Included in this resource:

—a suggested schedule including approximate times for each activity

—scaffolded activities to get even the quietest students telling their stories

—links to 12 oral stories that will engage even the most jaded high school student

—a checklist to grade process

—guides to freewriting and interactive notebooks

—questions for discussing the stories and for reflecting on students’ own stories

—a specific lesson to teach students how to show rather than tell

—handouts for peer conferences and for students to reflect on their own narratives

—a rubric for grading the final product

Want to see what you’ll get when you buy? Click on the preview to see the lesson plans in their entirety.

In all, there is enough for 9 days of engaging holiday lessons.

Total Pages
33 pages + 7 slides
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating a command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.


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