All About Animals: Secondary Teachers: Lesson Plan 2: Tell Me All About It

How does this fit into the National Curriculum? EN1. Speaking & Listening. To speak fluently and appropriately in different contexts, adapting their presentation for a range of purposes and audiences- including the more formal – pupils should be taught to: structure their talk clearly using markers so that listeners can follow the line of thought (1a); use evidence, illustrations and anecdote to enrich and explain their ideas (1b); use gesture, tone, pace and rhetorical devices for emphasis (1c); use visual aids and images to enhance communication (1d); vary word choices, including technical vocabulary, and sentence structure for different audiences (1e); evaluate the effectiveness of their speech and consider how to adapt it to a range of situations (1g).

Teachers’ Note: This lesson helps teach research and planning, cooperation with others and will encourage all members of the class to stand up and speak. Split the class into five groups and give each group a subject to speak about (listed below). Ask them to work together to research the subject. They will need to:

  • Decide who will research different aspects of the subject
  • Plan how to structure the talk and who will speak in which order
  • Obtain visual aids and images (video, pictures etc)
  • Write their own part of the talk, choosing their words carefully

This will probably take two to four lessons, depending on how much you set for homework. In the final lesson every member of the group should speak and you should be able to listen to every presentation in one lesson if you limit each group to 10 minutes. (This means that less confident members of the group could take on shorter passages while more confident ones can speak for longer. This encourages less confident pupils to speak while not putting too much pressure on them). After each group has presented their talk, the other members of the class should evaluate it for effectiveness, clarity, interest and presentation.

Your teacher will split you into five groups and assign each group a subject to research. In your group you are to prepare a talk lasting no more than 10 minutes to give to the rest of the class with every member of the group presenting a part. The aim of each talk is to impart information in an interesting, engaging way and to get your views across regarding your designated issue. If you and your group members share very different views you need to find a way to express these so the whole presentation remains consistent. The talk as a whole will be evaluated for clarity and effectiveness.
The titles are,

  • Battery Chicken Farming: can it be justified?
  • The Fur Trade: does a little bit of fur trim matter?
  • Milk: wonder food or terrible cruelty?
  • Household Product Testing: should animals suffer for our toilet cleaner?
  • Fishing: a fun day out or animal abuse?

In your group:
1. Decide who will research which aspects of your issue.
2. Once you have conducted your basic research, discuss the way you want to present the talk and what view you will present as a group.
3. Decide in which order you will speak and who will cover which area.
4. Obtain visual aids and let you teacher know if you will need a video player.

On your own:
1. Write the part of the talk you will be giving, and time how long it will take to present.
2. Think about presentation. You should make the talk as interesting as possible so think about pace, tone and volume. Consider using rhetorical devices and think carefully about word choices.

Back with the group:
1. Run through your part of the talk and check that you do not over-run on time.
2. Does the talk flow smoothly from one speaker to the next?
3. Discuss presentation. You should make the talk as interesting as possible so think about pace, tone and volume. Consider using rhetorical devices and think carefully about word choices. Offer constructive advice to one another within your group as to how each speaker can improve his or her presentation.

Giving the Talk
Some advice:

  • Everyone gets nervous about speaking in public so don’t think you are alone
  • Breathe deeply and try to stay calm
  • Make sure that everyone can hear you. Don’t be afraid to speak up!
  • Smile! This relaxes you and makes you more engaging
  • Don’t stand rooted to one spot. Move around and use your arms for emphasis. This keeps people’s attention and gives you something to do while speaking.
  • Your time-slot will go quickly but don’t rush your words. Try and enjoy the minute or two that you will be speaking.

Once your group has given the talk, the other class members will provide feedback about the presentation of your subject, clarity and effectiveness. Don’t be put off by this – constructive advice will help you perform better next time. No one ever gives a 100% perfect talk so don’t be too hard on yourself!