Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Practice Makes Perfect

Laurie Ayers
Bay District Schools


This language arts lesson is for Days 6-7 of the unit [Native Americans]. Students will practice speaking for large group settings.


The student uses volume, phrasing, and intonation appropriate for different situations (for example, large or small group settings, sharing oral stories, dramatic activities).

The student speaks for different purposes (for example, informing, entertaining, expressing ideas).

The student uses eye contact and appropriate gestures to enhance oral presentations.


Day 6
-Rubric for Speaking, one copy for the teacher (see extensions)
-Copies of the Rubric for Speaking, one per student (see extensions)
-Magazine pictures of action scenes, pets, or other interesting topics that students could easily talk about, about 5 more than the total number of students in the class
-Sticky notes, one per student
-Sticky notes for the teacher, one per student
-Pencil for students to write formative feedback on sticky notes

Day 7
-Students’ “It’s In the Bag” projects, brought from home
-Sticky notes, one per student
-Pencils for students and teacher
-Rubric for Speaking, one per student (from previous day)


1. Gather materials.
2. Download and make copies of the Rubric for Speaking (see extensions), one copy for teacher use on Days 6-7 and one copy per student for use on Days 6-7.
3. Assign peer partners.
4. Arrange a time with the media specialist for students to display their artwork and speak to small groups of other second graders about their artwork on Day 14.
5. Inform one or more other second grade teacher(s) of the date and time of the artwork display and invite them to bring their class(es) to view the artwork. Also, explain that the purpose of the event is to provide practice in speaking to small groups. Ask the other teachers to encourage their students to ask questions.

Note: If more than one class comes to view the display, be sure to make a schedule for them to follow so the viewers will be in small groups.


Note: In this lesson, effective speaking skills previously introduced on Day 2 will be reviewed and practiced. Students will later use these same skills to perform Summative Assessments 1 and 3.

Day 6
1. Review effective speaking criteria for speaking to a large group.

2. Remind students that for the next few days they will be engaged in activities to help them practice speaking for large groups.

3. Display a magazine picture of an exciting scene, pet, occasion, object, etc.

4. Model for students how the picture could be used to tell a story.

5. Explain that students will get a chance to tell a story today, too.

6. Tell students that they will be asked to select one of the magazine pictures. They will be given a short amount of time to look at the picture and make up a story about it. Then the students will take turns showing their pictures and sharing their stories with the whole class.

7. Students select a picture.

8. Students study the picture and think of a story (about 10 minutes). Note:
Explain that students may make a few notes to help them remember their story if they so choose.

9. Distribute copies of the Rubric for Speaking to students. Review the effective speaking criteria on the rubric.

10. Students take turns holding up their pictures and telling their stories.

11. Upon completion, students contribute a positive note on a sticky note about one other student’s presentation based on the criteria listed on the Rubric for Speaking. This will familiarize students with the language of the rubric.

12. The teacher also provides formative feedback on a sticky note to students based on the rubric criteria.

13. Remind students the “It’s in the Bag” project is due tomorrow.

14. Collect the student copies of the Rubric for Speaking to be used again on Day 7.

Day 7
1. Remind students that today they will share their “It’s in the Bag” projects. This activity will provide practice for their “Be An Expert” talks on the following day.

2. Assign peer partners.

3. Distribute copies of the Rubric for Speaking and one sticky note to each student.

4. The teacher models how to speak to a large group using his/her “It’s In The Bag” again.

5. Students orally assess the teacher’s performance using the criteria on the Rubric for Speaking. Allow time for discussion. (NOTE: If you feel students need additional practice/feedback, allow them to share their "It's in the Bag" projects with their peer partners. Partners should offer feedback based on the rubric.)

6. Students take turns speaking to the large group (whole class) and sharing their “It’s In The Bag” projects. The student takes out one object at a time and tells how that object is symbolic to him/her.

7. Peer partners assess their partner’s ability to speak to the large group using the criteria on the Rubric for Speaking. They write a formative feedback comment on the sticky note.

8. The teacher formatively assesses performances using the same rubric and provides specific feedback on a sticky note as the students finish. Feedback will be both positive and guiding. Examples include, “Great job! You used all the skills on the rubric.” and “Try to add a few gestures.”

9. When all projects have been shared, ask peer partners to share feedback with each other.

10. Encourage students to use the feedback from the teacher and peer partners to improve their skills before the “Be An Expert” talks.


Activities for Days 6-7 were designed to be practice activities. On both days the teacher and peer partners will formatively assess student performance using the Rubric for Speaking (see extensions) as the criteria. Provide specific formative feedback on a sticky note for each student. Peer partners will share feedback on their sticky notes orally.


1. 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 unit’s 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).
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