Tips and Tricks for Oral Language or Speaking and Listening Sessions
Hello lovely teachers, one of my favorite things to do in the morning with students in elementary school ages is to have an oral language session or speaking and listening activities.
Tried and True
Generally I start off with student's offering to share their news and having them stand in-front of the class and share. Once they are finished, I ask the rest of the class to ask three open ended questions. Even getting to open ended questioning is difficult depending on the age. Generally they are the ones who come up with their topic, unless I give them one such as; "tell us about a day you went to someone's birthday."
As a substitute teacher I get a unique perspective in how different teachers operate their oral language sessions. Most operate the typical way I have explain as above. However there are different takes on the same kind of session. The younger the students, the more directed, the older the more students are able to share using more complex sentences and asking more interesting, opening ended questions.
The talking Stick
For me as a teacher who has had her class and as a now substitute teacher I really like this concept. Originally this native American tradition was used in councils. The speaker holds the stick and only they are allowed to talk without anyone asking questions or commenting. This is great for the class as a whole to speak should they choose. Keep in mind some students like to 'over' talk, so keep them at bay with giving them a one minute time frame. Allow those who do not wish to speak to pass the stick on to the next person. If you have time you can have students ask each other questions about their news. The stick can comprise of anything really, from a toy, to a prop to a stick. I also really like this speaking and Listening activity due to the inclusive nature.
Speaking and Listening prompts
If you are teacher who would rather have most of the sessions done for you, you can come up with prompt cards which help student's talk about the topic at hand. You can write your own prompts on colored paper, laminate and cut them out. Bind with rubber bands and pop into a little box or zipper plastic bag.
Students can select a prompt from the cards without looking or select one which resonates with them. They can then speak for one minute about their topic. The prompt is a simple guide to help students speak from an anchor point, instead of coming up with the same story each time, as some students sometimes tend to do.
As an alternative, you can students choose a card randomly and share in pairs. If need be ask the students to volunteer in sharing their news with the rest of the class.
I created a bundle of 108 speaking and listening prompts which students are likely to be familiar with. Topics range from; Talk about your favorite takeaway food, or Talk about your favorite television programe or game or app. The cards are mounted on 11 sheets, ready to be printed, laminated, cut and bundled. There are also 5 colored sheets for the teacher to write thier own prompts. This is a real time save and fun to offer the children in your class.
This bundle is best used with grades 1,2, and 3, New Zealand Year 1,2,3,4.
These speaking and listening cards are bright and colorful, ready to be used with young students, they will enjoy using them.
Thank Mel Himiona from Fun Creatives at TPT
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