Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Independent - To Be or Not Top Be - Day 2, Lesson C: Freedom of Speech

Katie Koehnemann
Bay District Schools


Students expand their understanding of verbal, non-verbal, and visual aid components of an oral presentation by exploring three relationships: What is it? What is it like? What is an example?


The student reads and organizes information from multiple sources for a variety of purposes (for example, supporting opinions, predictions, and conclusions; writing a research report; conducting interviews; taking a test; performing tasks).

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 uses strategies to speak clearly, (for example, rate, volume, phrasing, enunciation).

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).

The student uses visual aids, technology, or demonstrations to support a presentation.

The student uses nonverbal strategies to engage an audience (for example, eye contact, gestures, posture, facial expressions).


-Big Word Organizer from Lesson B
-One team organizational poster from Lesson B (Serves as a visual aid to help you guide students with the use of their Big Word Organizer)
-Student copies of the Vocabulary Mapping handouts, hole-punched (In Associated File)
-Transparency of each of the Vocabulary Mapping handouts (In Associated File)
-Vis-ŗ-vis markers
-Copy of Teachers Liberties, The Answers (In Associated File)
-Student copies of the Oral Presentation Rubric hole-punched (See Extensions #3)


1. Have displayed the vocabulary organizational poster from Lesson B, To Arms! This will serve as a visual aid
2. Make copies of each Vocabulary Mapping student handout for Verbal Strategies, Non-Verbal Strategies, and Visual Aids (In Associated File).
3. Create a transparency of the Vocabulary Mapping handouts (In Associated File).
4. Vis-ŗ-vis markers for recording responses and modeling the activity for the class on the overhead projector.
5. Print a copy of Teachers Liberties, The Answers.
6. Print student copies of the Oral Presentation Rubric and hole-punch for filing in student notebooks. (See Extensions #3.)
7. Obtain tokens to be handed out.


NOTE: In classrooms using the Reading Framework or Four Block format, this lesson is the Working With Words component of your day. It is designed to utilize the basic structure and approach to learning words that is suggested by the use of a Big Word Board (P. Cunningham's [Classrooms That Work] pg. 158, 241).


1. Hand out to students, copies of Vocabulary Mapping for Verbal Strategies, Vocabulary Mapping for Non-Verbal Strategies, and Vocabulary Mapping for Visual Aid Strategies. (In Associated File)

2. Explain to students that they will be exploring the vocabulary list they categorized yesterday. (Day 1, Lesson B: To Arms!) These are words they will have to be familiar with in order to understand what is expected of them when they perform their presentations.

3. Have them note the sample of vocabulary mapping that is at the top of the handout, The Voice. Explain the process to them using this diagram.

4. Hand out to students a copy of the Oral Presentation Rubric. (See Extensions #3)

5. Explain to students how the rubric is set up and walk them through it, noting headings and areas of assessment.

6. Lead students to locate the Verbal Strategies listed on the rubric. The first word on the rubric under this heading is volume. Ask students if volume was on the chart from yesterday and where it was categorized. Model for students using the transparency on the overhead where to write the vocabulary word on the mapping tool.

7. Instruct students to write the word volume in the first interior box on the mapping tool for verbal strategies. Using the suggestions given on the Teacher Liberties Answer Sheet (In Associated File), or other ideas you use and find to be useful, guide students to define the word.

8. Formative assessment occurs as students respond to questions and openly discuss the meaning of the word. Listen for answers, such as volume means how loud something is. After discussion and consensus, students write the meaning of the word at the top arrow. Model for students using the transparency.

9. Challenge students, through critical thinking questions, to explain what volume is like. Formative assessment occurs as students offer suggestions. Listen for such responses as volume is like when you canít hear what your mother is saying and when you say, ďHuh?Ē she says it again, louder. Model for students by writing on the transparency.

10. Students follow the modeling and record this on the handout.

11. Finally ask students to give an example of the word and write or draw the example under the appropriate arrow. You then model on the transparency; they copy onto their papers. Formative assessment occurs as students offer examples of the word. Listen for such ideas as a knob on the television or radio. Either draw or write the idea.

12. Is the way we have written the definition and associations of the word volume based on facts or opinions? It may be some of both. Take a moment to have them differentiate between the two. Formative assessment occurs as students identify what is fact and what is opinion. For example, the definition for volume is fact, whereas the story about the mother speaking louder is one student's opinion of what it means to him or her.

13. Repeat this process with each vocabulary word. Always start by first locating the word on the rubric. Use descriptions on the rubric as a guide when addressing the vocabulary.

14. Students file completed vocabulary pages in their notebooks.


Formative assessment occurs as students offer thoughts, ideas, and peer feedback as each vocabulary word is discussed, defined, compared, and exampled. See Procedure steps #8, 9, 11, and 12. Formatively assess students' participation and responses for meaning of the language of the rubric, hence the selected Standards, through oral discussion, complete and accurate written response of information, and the use of known information in the solving of problems, tasks, and accomplishing goals.


1. This is the fifth lesson of the Unit Plan: Independent-To Be Or Not To Be?. 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.
2. It is suggested you have a historical fiction or a non-fiction book selected for use with the Read Aloud Component. Also, for the Self-Selected Reading Component, you will need to have appropriate period books available for which students to choose.
3. The Oral Presentation Rubric can be found in Summative Assessment C Ė Speak Your Peace at the Unit Plan site linked below. Once the link opened, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find Summative Assessment C.
4. 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 the page.)
5. 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 the page.)
6. 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.
Presentation alternatives. There are various ways to achieve this activity once it has been modeled for students as to what and how they are to complete the task. Students can:
7. Work independently.
8. Work in small groups.
9. Work with a partner.
10. Make it a game. For example, when students identify the word, Gesture, call on a student to act it out followed by another student or the teacher acting another example. Students then develop a definition of the word. Once students suggest a definition, use the complete definition given in the teacherís guide (In Associated File). When using the teacherís guide definition, present it with blanks, and have students fill in the missing words. For example, write, Movement of the body that expresses an _ _ _ _. (Students fill in the missing word, idea.)
11. Use as a Learning Center. Students can check their answers during small group Guided Reading Sessions.
12. ESE modification: Prepare ahead of time and have written on pieces of paper, the definition, an example, and a comparison object for each word students will map. Students write each vocabulary word in the small boxes on the paper, and then work in small groups to arrange definitions, examples, and comparison objects around the correct vocabulary word. You could do this as a competitive activity, giving tokens to the team that arrives at the correct answer first. Students record the information on their own mapping handout.
Allow time for self-checking, no matter which presentation model you use.

Web Links

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

This site offers guidelines and links to help you utilize visual aids to create an effective speech.
Virtual Presentation Assistant

Offers speaking strategies and presentation tips.
Peak Performance

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

This site 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

Attached Files

Vocabulary Mapping Tools and Answer Key†††††File Extension: pdf

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