Mini-Lessons

First Week of School Assignment

Top 10 Nouns That Represent Me Speech

Here is a first week of school, getting-to-know-you assignment I’ve been using off and on for 11 years now!!!  I’ve used this for my speech, reading and English literature classes; it suits almost all levels and classes.  It’s a fun, easy exercise for the students to get to know the teacher and each other at the beginning of the year.

Summary:  Students brainstorm a list of 50 nouns that represent them.  {This proves to be a terrific parts of speech review.}  Many students find this to be a daunting list .  . . one hint I offer is to go home and stand in the middle of their rooms.  What do they see?  Write down those things.  Once the list is generated, students must narrow it down to their 10 favorites, being sure that each of those 10 items can be easily represented with a tangible token (that they can bring in!).  Students will present their top 10 list along with the ten tokens in a short glorified show and tell.  I tell the students they can explain each item as much or as little as they choose:  some opt to simply read off the list and hold up each item; others unleash unique stories behind each item.  Either way, the speeches tend to run 1 – 3 minutes each.

Students find out more interesting quirks, passions and values about each other in one – three minutes than they may otherwise have the opportunity to discover if we dive directly into curriculum. This a great way to get them up in front of the class very early in a relaxed atmosphere; I don’t evaluate their presentation skills for this early speech.  As a model, I present my own noun speech on the very first day of school.  It’s the perfect context to disclose a little about myself (past items I’ve shared – movie ticket stubs from my favorite movies, health magazines I read to exemplify my fitness enthusiasm, my colored whisk to reveal my propensity for kitchen experimentation, my favorite sports team pencil, etc) As I tell my students, it’s an easy A!  By the same token, this is super easy to evaluate.  As illustrated in the rubric, if the student completes the assignment, it’s an almost guaranteed A.  The only real way to fail this one is not to complete it.  Check it out →

Worksheet:

Top Ten Nouns That Represent Me

Rubric:

Noun Speech Rubric

Come back and share your experiences with this assignment.  How did your students like it?  I’ll share my own classroom experiences with this speech as soon as school starts.  TTFN, as Tigger says!

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