Beacon Unit Plan Library

Speak for Yourself

Carol Rine
A.C. Mosley High School (Bay District Schools)


Speak For Yourself asks the guiding question, "What does it take to make a good speaker?" Students formulate a working definition of what it takes to make a good speaker as they work through the course of the unit. By analyzing famous speeches, role-playing examples and non-examples of speaking behaviors, and identifying informal and formal language, students become aware of good speaking behaviors. They learn how to modify word choice to fit purpose and audience. Ultimately, students organize and produce their own oral presentations to perform for the class. All of these activities culminate with the evaluation of classroom presentations. Within the evaluation, students must appraise the presentations as either effective or ineffective. At the unit's completion, students can explain not only the speaking behaviors necessary, but also the planning process necessary "…to make a good speaker." This unit has accompanying lesson plans and attached files.


What does it take to make a good speaker?


The planned duration of this activity is 15 days.

Associated Files

Nolan Ryan Speech     File Size:4354718 bytes (4.253 mb)      File Extension:  wav

Unit Plan Overview (PDF)     File Extension:  pdf

Diagnostic Assessment (PDF)     File Extension:  pdf

Summative #1 (PDF)     File Extension:  pdf

Summative #2 (PDF)     File Extension:  pdf

Summative #3 (PDF)     File Extension:  pdf

Summative #4 (PDF)     File Extension:  pdf

Lesson Plans

What Makes a Good Speaker?
Improvement of public speaking skills doesn’t have to be difficult or boring. In the first lesson of the unit, -Speak for Yourself,- students respond to a diagnostic assessment to determine what they need to know in order to become good speakers.

Attracting an Audience with Purpose
Making sure that the purpose of an oral presentation or speech, and the intended audience are compatible will help students become good speakers.

Slang Ain't the Thang!
By creating a visual image with words, the listeners are invited into the scene created by the speaker. Students look at a speaker's tools to learn how to use words and images to express a message.

All's Well That Ends Well
Beginning and ending are two of the most important parts of a speech! The middle is rather important also. Students check out the importance of organizing a speech.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
No matter how good a written speech is, the delivery is what the audience remembers. Learning about and practicing volume, stress, pacing, and pronunciation helps students to deliver an oral presentation effectively.

Take My Word for It
Students take a summative assessment, then begin researching and organizing information for an oral presentation on significant leaders in history.

Look Who's Talking to Me
Students are able to make a determination of effective speeches based on good speaking habits and then use the information to aid in improving their own presentations.
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