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Speech Unit: Mock "Conference" Talks {3+ Weeks: Writing, Speaking, & Nonfiction}

Grade Levels
8th - 12th
Formats Included
  • Zip
60 pages
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  1. Take the fear and intimidation out of public speaking with a FULL SEMESTER bundle of classroom-tested speech activities that will safely get students out of their chairs (and their comfort zones!) Download this bundle of speaking resources to build up student confidence with projects that don’t “fee
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Want a new, authentic, 21st-century spin on a formal speech unit? Help students analyze, write, and present their own mock TED-style talks in your own classroom conference!*

This print-and-go unit fully scaffolds students through a process of building background knowledge, drafting and practicing speeches, and then giving confident final speeches in front of a group of peers. It covers public speaking, writing, AND nonfiction reading!

Customize it for your Class:

• Adjust the EDITABLE pages to your class

• Students have a ton of choice on speech topics

• The Teacher’s Guide addresses options for timing the talks, including low- and high-tech options for implementation and CCSS alignment

• Most pages come with answer keys and/or rubric rows

• Students are also gradually surrounded with great examples of writers and speakers; if the unit is fully completed, they will watch several videos and read great articles

(Psst: In addition to the Preview button, you can get more info and FREEBIES for this unit by visiting Blog Post #1 and Blog Post #2!)

This 60-page download includes:

1. Teacher’s Guide: Unit plan, calendar options, tips for success, and more!

2. Directions/Overview Pages, including a disclaimer/student agreement and student checklist

3. Pre/Post Assessment: asks thematic questions to track growth

4. Brainstorming tools: graphic organizer, Parent/Teacher Proposal, and looking at mentor speeches for inspiration

5. Drafting/Journaling assignment to create rough drafts

6. Revision Activity: Bingo board of options to strengthen speeches

7. Nonfiction activities: reading and listening speeches and articles about speaking, visual aids, nerves, and more!

8. Optional Assignment: Make screencast videos of vocals and slides as an intermediate step to the full speeches

9. Preparing Visual Aids: Storyboarding activity

10. Practice Activities: Several in-class and at-home options to get feedback from teachers, peers, and parents, including checklists to know what to look for

11. RUBRICS: Two versions of Common-Core aligned rubrics for speaking, writing, and language (grammar)

12. Active Listening Guides: Two versions of student handouts to use while they listen to each other’s presentations

13. Optional Nonfiction Book Study of TED books

14. Crash course lesson: What is a TED Talk?

BONUS: PDF copies are also included for your convenience

Last File Update: July 2017

*Copyright Note: To protect the copyright of TED and its speakers, no video clips, transcripts, or chunks of text are included in this download – just the links to view the videos directly from TED (and my original questions and content). I also have no affiliation with or endorsement from TED.

NOTE: This product is INCLUDED in my Public Speaking Activity Bundle. Check it out to save big!


You may also like…

My other speaking activities:

Intro to Public Speaking (as taught by TED) lessons

Non-Fiction Book Study/Unit: Apply to ANY book!, which I used for the book "Talk Like TED"

Intro to Debate Unit

15 Minutes of Fame: Speaking Game


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Total Pages
60 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 Weeks
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.


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