from the teaching files of
Barbara Jean Hicks
One of the ways I’ve addressed state standards for speaking and listening in my school visits, especially with upper elementary and middle school kids, is to have student volunteers do a Readers’ Theatre presentation of one of my books. I have the required number of scripts available with the readers’ parts printed in different colors, making it easy for each reader to know when it’s his or her turn.
Here are a few examples of the Speaking and Listening Standards for California, taken from grade-specific lists, K-5:
- Students ask thoughtful questions and respond to relevant questions with appropriate elaboration in oral settings.
- Students identify how language usages (e.g., sayings, expressions) reflect regions and cultures.
- Students share information and ideas, speaking audibly in complete, coherent sentences.
- Students identify the main problem or conflict of a plot and explain how it is resolved.
- Students use details, examples, anecdotes, or experiences to explain or clarify information.
- Students recount experiences or present stories in a way that: a) moves through a logical sequence of events; and b) describes story elements (e.g., characters, plot, setting).
TO THINK ABOUT:
1) What are your state’s educational standards for speaking and listening? Find the standards specific to your state by googling “(your state) academic standards” or “(your state) educational standards.” They should be listed under English/Language Arts.
2) How can you address your state’s speaking and listening standards in your school visit workshops and presentations? For each of your published children’s books and/or works in progress, find at least one state speaking and listening standard around which you could develop a program or exercise.
3) For those of you who are experienced presenters, what are some activities you've included in your assemblies or workshops that specifically address listening and speaking standards and worked well with kids? Share with us!