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Lucy had her work cut out for her
.Tuesday, March 06, 2012 ' 10:40 AM
Teaching-Story Tuesday: in which I assign impromptu speeches

My students are either really shy or really sleepy. 9:30 does not seem particularly early to me, but they saunter into class and do not look at or speak to anyone. When we have class discussions, the same dutiful few participate until I just call on individuals point-blank. I've always been an eager class participant myself, so it's just kind of agonizing to watch.

I can't help but wonder, then, how they will survive their speeches. Each student will have to go up to the front of the class, and talk, intelligently, for 5 whole minutes. Most of of them won't even talk, whether intelligently or not, amongst the class, for five whole seconds.

So I decided to warm them up by doing impromptu speeches today. I wrote down topics on little sheets of paper and had them pull one out of an empty Twinings box. Each student had to speak for 1-3 minutes.

I think of this as a nice way to break the ice, and just ease them into speaking at the front of the class solo. The topics are never terribly serious. I offer subjects such as "your favorite film," "tell us about your outfit," "if you had to eat one thing every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?" "your dream job," "your least favorite subject in high school," etc. They have an easier time talking about these things than the types of topics I prescribed last semester ("squash" "postcards" "time travel" "shoelaces").

Do y'all have any suggestions for possible impromptu speech topics that I could use the future?

[cardigan: JCrew, dress: thrifted, belt: thrifted, necklace: thrifted, tights: Sock Dreams, boots: gifted]



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about LNR

I am a displaced Texan turned PhD student in English at the University of Iowa. Follow my adventures in outfits, food, teaching anecdotes, theme songs, book reviews, and other quotidian what-have-yous. I am forever in love with Virginia Woolf, basset hounds, Tex-Mex, and the color yellow.

Currently reading: The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins

frequent stops

26 and Counting
All This Happiness
Amber Blue Bird
A Beautiful Mess
Big Girls, Small Kitchen
Bright Side Dweller
Brokeass Gourmet
The Clothes Horse
Fancy Fine
Happy, Honey and Lark
Homesick Texan
Indie Jane
Kendi Everyday
Let's Go Ride a Bike
The Life Academic
The Magpie Girl
Orchid Grey
Questionable Content
Blogging Academia


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