Last Thursday, students in 6-12 writing began outlining their speeches. When the students presented their “40 Chances” speeches earlier in the term, I made notes of common areas where students struggled. Organizing seemed to be at the top of that list.
I often repeat in class that writing isn’t so much a physical skill, as it is a mental one. Students need to be able to organize their thoughts into a cohesive statement, be that in the form of a three minute speech or a five page essay. Speaking extemporaneously (as we did during out candidate commercials) helps students hone those organizational skills in a short amount of time. Another way to help young writers cultivate their mental organization is with a visual aid. On Thursday, all students received a copy of A Satisfying Outline form. (I am attaching a PDF of this outline form here, as well. A Satisfying Speech Outline)
If you want to take things one step further, I encourage students to check out the Power Point slides that reiterate and expand on the things we discussed in class, including how to write a thesis statement in a SNAP and how to establish credibility with your audience. Satisfying Outline presentation