Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Independent - To Be or Not Top Be - Day 1, Lesson B: To Arms!

Katie Koehnemann
Bay District Schools


Through the exploration of new vocabulary words and utilizing the KWL chart started in Lesson 2, students are introduced to the verbal and non-verbal components of an oral presentation.


The student extends the expectations of the fourth grade with increasingly complex reading selections, assignments and tasks (for example, differences between fact, fiction, opinion).

The student prepares for and gives presentations for specific occasions, audiences, and purposes (including but not limited to informational or imaginative presentations, research reports, extemporaneous talks).


-KWL chart begun in Day 1, Lesson A, View and Re-View
-Markers of varying colors
-Transparency of two I Want You!, Student task cards (In Associated File)
-Overhead projector
-Established procedure for getting into groups
-One piece of chart paper for each team (Teams of four)
-Delivery, Verbal, and Non-verbal each written on sentence strip. You will need enough to give each team of four students a complete set.
-One set of vocabulary words written on individual strips of paper for each team (Delivery, Verbal, Non, Non-Verbal, Volume, Rate, Phrasing, Enunciation, Posture, Eye Contact, Gestures, Facial Expression, Investigation, Recording, Webbing, Drafting, Revision, Visual Aid, Introduction, Body, Conclusion) Word cards are mixed up, not in order.
-Hole-punched copy of Big Word Organizer for each student (In Associated File)
-Completed sample of Big Word Organizer (In Associated File)


1. Have the prepared KWL chart from the previous lesson.
2. Obtain markers of varying colors.
3. Write the words Delivery, Verbal, Non-verbal, and Content/Preparation on pieces of sentence strip. You will need enough to give each team of four students a complete set.
4. Print a transparency of both I Want You Student Task cards. (In Associated File)
5. Obtain an overhead projector with viewing surface.
6. Develop a classroom procedure for quickly forming into teams of four.
7. Supply one piece of chart paper for each team.
8. Provide tape for each team.
9. Write out on individual strips of sentence strip the vocabulary words volume, rate, phrasing, enunciation, posture, eye contact, gestures, facial expression, investigate, recording, webbing, drafting, revision, and visual aid. Make a complete set for each team.
10. Provide tokens.
11. Print copies and hole-punch for each student a Big Word Organizer. (In Associated File)


PURPOSE: Designed similar to the Reading Framework component, Working With Words, this lesson utilizes the use of a Big Word Board (P. Cunningham, [Classrooms That Work], pg. 158, 241). It is recommended that in classrooms where Block Components are used, this lesson be taught during the Working With Words teaching portion of your day.
Through association of meaning and word parts, students are introduced to the vocabulary of verbal and non-verbal oral presentation skills.
The words suggested for use with the Big Word Board are so because of their importance within the unit of study, and the polysyllabic nature of them makes for enriched word studies for children. All are taken from the presentation rubric that will be used as the scoring tool. Students need to be knowledgeable about the language of the rubric, in order to score well on their oral presentations. The intent is for students to begin to develop an understanding of these words and the skills they represent so as to implement their understanding as they design and perform their presentations. Presented in an investigative manner, the activity of this lesson encourages critical thinking with respect for differential learning styles and varying intelligences.


1. One suggestion to gain studentsí attention is to chant and clap, cheerleader fashion, D-E-L-I-V-E-R. Ask students to chant/repeat the letters as you write them on the KWL chart. Record the word deliver under the W of the KWL.

2. Ask if anyone can read the word, explain what it means, and give examples of things that you can deliver.

3. Formative assessment occurs as students respond with a definition and examples. Listen for the meaning that it is to give or bring something to someone and examples, such as telling a story, conducting a demonstration, showing a home video you made to demonstrate how to do something, performing a skit, performing a song or instrumental, talking an idea out with a group, and writing your ideas out as you think them through to yourself.

4. Tell students you have something to deliver to each of them. Hand out to each student a copy of Big Word Organizer. (In Associated File)

5. Ask students to locate the word Deliver on the handout. Ask what suffix has been added (y) and adding y to the root word deliver has made what new word? (Delivery)

6. On the KWL chart, add a y to the end of deliver, using a different color.

7. Offer students the riddle; If the suffix y means performing, or specified action, what does the new word delivery, mean? Formatively assess students' responses for application of meaning. Listen for answers that demonstrate they understand the meaning to be a method or specific way something is given or delivered.

8. Have students write the definition for delivery on the appropriate line. (See example in Associated File.)

9. Follow the same procedure to introduce v-e-r-b-a-l, recording it under the W on the KWL chart.

10. Instruct students to form four member teams. Hand each team the word Verbal written on sentence strip.
*Task: Place I Want You, Student Task Card #1 (In Associated File) on the overhead. Students read each step. Clarify for students. Think about information that has been delivered thus far. For the word Verbal, each team is to (1) define, (2) demonstrate, and (3) have an explanation for their choices. Remind them they are a team. On a team, each person has a part. You have one minute. Go.

11. At the end of one minute, call on each team to give a definition, demonstrate the meaning of the word, and explain why they think it means what they said. As each team presents their definition, paraphrase and write it on the board. Ask if they have just given facts or their opinions. Formative assessment occurs as student groups define and present, and as they determine if they have given fact or opinion. For example, one group might say verbal means with voice. Then say our demonstration of verbal is giving our definition out loud. The reason we think so is because Joey said that when he talks too much, his mom tells him not to be so verbal, and this is an opinion of what verbal means.

12. Once all group definitions are written on the board, guide the class to come to a consensus of the correct meaning. Erase all but the correct one. Students record the meaning of the word verbal on their Big Word Organizer sheet. (See example in Associated File.)

13. Place face down at each team the prefix non- which you have also written on a piece of sentence strip.
*Task: Place I Want You Student Task Card #2 (In Associated File) on the overhead. Students read each step. Clarify for students. Think about information that has been delivered thus far. For the non card, each team is to (1) decide what to do with it, (2) explain why they did what they did, (3) define it, and (4) give a demonstration of it. Remind them they are a team. On a team, each person has a part. On the word go, they turn the new card over. They have a minute and a half. Go.

14. At the end of 1Ĺ minute, call on teams for their answers. Ask: Fact or opinion? Formative assessment occurs as teams give responses. Listen for correct usage of the prefix and meaning of the word Non-verbal, giving supportive and corrective feedback to guide students to understanding. Students should demonstrate usage and understanding of non- as a prefix, which created the new word non-verbal. Reasoning should be that if we know verbal means with words, and we think non- means not, non-verbal means without words. A demonstration of some non-verbal speaking strategy should accompany.

15. As each team presents their definitions, paraphrase and write it on the board. Once all group definitions are written on the board, guide the class to come to a consensus of the correct meaning. Erase all but the correct one. Students record the meaning of the word non-verbal on their Big Word Organizer. (See example in Associated File.)

16. Ask students if what have they have come to consensus on and is written as the definition of non-verbal, is fact or opinion. Students should recognize this as a consensus of everyone's opinion, and that being correct, it is a fact.

17. Present each team with a piece of chart paper, tape, Delivery, Non-Verbal, Content/Preparation each written on sentence strips. (They already have the word Verbal). Groups are to recreate their Big Word Organizer by taping these headings appropriately on the chart paper.
*Task: Give each team a set of seventeen vocabulary words. Students are to first look for words that can be categorized as either verbal or non-verbal. Read, analyze,
and decide which of these two headings (verbal or non-verbal) it should be listed under and tape in place. If any word seem to be nonsense, in that it cannot be listed under either of these headings, put it aside in a separate pile. Teams have five minutes to complete the task. Remind them that they are a team, and everyone must contribute in some way.

18. Formative assessment occurs as student teams are monitored. Listen to discussions and reasoning. Give input in the form of guiding questions if students need assistance. What you should hear is students thinking about verbal and non-verbal in terms of the word delivery (which means the method or specific way something is given). They need to think to what specifically does verbal and non-verbal refer. You may find some students making an association with the chart created in Lesson 1, I Pledge Allegiance, where you made note of speaking strategy blunders. Facilitate students in building their knowledge base through thinking, analyzing, and applying all that they have been immersed in thus far.

19. When time is called, each team presents their word lists with an explanation for their choices. Formative assessment occurs as other teams monitor for correctness and offer positive and corrective feedback. As you listen to peer feedback, be cognizant of misunderstandings and gaps in knowledge.

20. A consensus should be reached on the proper placement of each word, and recorded under the W on the KWL chart.

21. Students correctly list each word on their Big Word Organizers. (See example in Associated File.)

22. Challenge students to look at the words that were discarded because they did not fit in either the Verbal or Non-Verbal category. (Investigation, recording, webbing, drafting, revision, visual aid, introduction, body, and conclusion) Ask how these might be categorized? Guide students to the idea that some are for preparation of a presentation, and some are the content of a presentation.

23. Add these words in the correct column on the Big Word Organizer.

24. Students sign their names to their groupís chart. Collect charts and formatively assess by checking for degree of accuracy, noting individual student group performances.

25. Students place their completed Big Word Organizers in their unit binders.


Formative assessment occurs throughout the lesson as individual students, student groups, and peer students respond to tasks, questions, and the presentation and reasoning of other students. The teacher listens for accuracy of responses, corrections, discussions, reasoning, group charts, and individual Big Word Organizer.


1. This is Day 1, Lesson B of the Unit Plan: Independent-To Be or Not To Be. Refer to the Daily Teaching Matrix located in the Unit Plan, for a complete listing of daily lessons.
2. Liberty and Justice for All is an interactive Student Web Lesson. The lesson addresses this standard: the student understands reasons Americans and those who led them went to war to win independence from England. (See link to unit plan at the top of this page.)
3. United We Stand is an interactive Student Web Lesson. The lesson addresses this standard: the student knows significant events between 1756 and 1776 that led to the outbreak of the American Revolution. (See link to unit plan at the top of this page.)
4. Lessons may reflect modifications of, but are designed in conjunction with, the Reading Framework approach to classroom instruction and may be adapted to the Four Block Classroom. It is suggested that you have a historical fiction or a non-fiction book selected for use with the Shared Reading Component. Also, for the Self-Selected Reading Component, you will need to have appropriate period books available for which students to choose.
5. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unitís link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files, if any.

Web Links

This site offers speaking strategies and presentation tips.
Peak Performance

Offers easy speech writing for those who just canít get started. Not recommended that students use this fill in the blank format, but it may help someone who is experiencing a writerís block in getting started.
The Internet Library of Speeches

Offers guidelines and links to help utilize visual aids to create an effective speech.
Virtual Presentation Assistant

This site offers Oral Presentations, A Printable Checklist to help guide students in their preparations. Scroll to the bottom and click Create Printable Checklist.

Click on any item, Using Visual Aids, Making Transparencies, Making the Most of an Oral Presentation, and more. There are numerous good pointers.
Table of Contents

Attached Files

Student Task Cards and Big Word Organizers†††††File Extension: pdf

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