Legos offer an enjoyable and non-threatening way to teach public speaking. What are some of the benefits to gaining effective public speaking skills? 1) Improved communication; 2) Increased self-esteem; 3) Planning experience; 4) The power of persuasion. The skills children acquire in this pragmatic class will benefit them throughout their lives.
Public speaking is one of the most important and dreaded forms of communications.
Many studies show more people fear public speaking than anything else. Here is some good news. I created and taught a class at our co-op incorporating Legos. Many kids are thrilled to do anything when Legos are involved.
Here is how the class works:
Each week I teach a brief lesson about a public speaking skill. Topics include making eye contact, projection, inflection, and speaking clearly. After each presentation, peers respectfully offer feedback as to how the presenter fared incorporating those skills into his presentation.
My class has two Lego-building components:
- Partner Build
The kids are given a very broad theme like nature. They are partnered up and build a Lego together. They then jointly get up in front of the class for a brief 1-2 minute non-rehearsed, impromptu presentation. They are required to work with all the personalities of the class over the course of the semester.
- Home Build and Speech Practice
The kids are given a different theme for a Lego they will build for homework without a partner or team. They go home and build a Lego creation to bring and share with the class. Each student is given 3 minutes for his presentation. He prepares and practices his speech at home, integrating skills I have taught, ensuring he does not go over his time allotted. Peers offer feedback about how he did with incorporating the public speaking skills.
21st-century skills developed in this class include Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity.
I hope you found this post useful and can use it in your co-op, classroom or with a group of friends. Stay tuned for Part Three of this Teaching with Legos series.
For more ideas about teaching with Legos, you may be interested in Lego Writing Club:
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