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Make a Study of Graduation Speeches- an inspiring late-year activity

Unrecognizable ethnic woman throwing rose branch to camera

Think of all of the well-known people earning honorary degrees- making graduation speeches all over the place right now.

These speakers are toiling over keeping kids’ attention, imparting advice in a succinct manner, choosing their most pivotal moments to share. In this marvelous age, we can travel all over to see and hear their carefully crafted words.

Teach through the Graduation Speeches

Presentations and some form of public speaking are likely cornerstones of your curriculum- any age, any subject, any setting.

To open, run through what your class would want in a speech. You might choose a few delivery goals (conviction, eye contact, appropriate pauses for example) and a few topic goals (taking audience into account, stories that resonate, lesson/idea to ponder, does it stick? for example).

Then, watch (or listen) and review.

Ideas to direct the lesson:

  • You may want to review in groups with one presenter.
  • You may want to have quick whole-group responses.
  • If it’s a good time for an independent day, and your kids have access to computers, give them links, and let them choose who they’d like to listen to. Sharing can be really fun when all have experienced different speeches.
  • You make want a note-taking sheet (example here).
  • You may want to vote as to whether your class would award an Honorary Degree based on the speech alone.

Graduation Speech Resources

There are loads more resources- but there is a start. Just in case it feels like June- and you need someone else to inspire your students for a bit.

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One Comment

  1. I fondly remember the one that was turned into a song in the 80s. “Remember to wear sunscreen” among other gems

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