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Career Readiness | Middle School | Public Speaking

3 Best Public Speaking Lessons for Middle School

July 28th, 2022 | 6 min. read

Bri Stauffer

Bri Stauffer

For nearly 10 years, Bri has focused on creating content to address the questions and concerns educators have about teaching classes, preparing students for certifications, and making the most of the AES curriculum system.

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Middle school career readiness classes often focus on skills like professionalism and communication.

But public speaking is one of the areas many teachers find challenging to teach!

That’s because there are tons of resources out there for adults to hone their public speaking skills, but it’s tough to find resources that are age-appropriate for middle schoolers!

To make your life easier, we pulled together a list of the three best places to find middle school public speaking lesson plans:

  1. Public Speaking Lesson Plans Curriculum Bundle from Literacy in Focus
  2. Public Speaking Lessons from Money Instructor
  3. Public Speaking Bundle from Secondary Sara

In this article, you’ll learn about each public speaking curriculum resource to help you decide which one(s) will work best in your classroom!

Let’s start with an introductory lesson developed by a middle school teacher.

1. Public Speaking Lesson Plans Curriculum Bundle from Literacy in Focus

Literacy in Focus is a notable seller on Teachers Pay Teachers (TpT), the online marketplace where educators can buy, sell, and share resources. One curriculum option they offer is the Public Speaking Curriculum Bundle.

Since it's designed for students in grades 6-9, these resources are perfect for a middle school audience. This bundle includes 314 pages of resources to cover an entire unit on public speaking as part of a 21st century skills curriculum.

The bundle includes 11 resources you can use in your public speaking lessons:

  1. Listening Skills and Comprehension Worksheets
  2. Voice & Gestures Public Speaking Lesson
  3. Public Speaking Vocabulary Unit
  4. Speech Writing Lesson
  5. Stage Fright Worksheet and Questions
  6. Speech of Introduction Lesson
  7. Persuasive Speech Lesson
  8. Pet Peeve Speech Lesson
  9. Oral Interpretation Lesson
  10. Award Speech Lesson
  11. Quotes of the Day

Some of the units are longer and focus on overarching communication themes, while others focus more narrowly on specific skills or types of speech.

The unit is available for $25, which is a reasonable price for the number of materials included. Teachers who plan to use content from many or most sections will likely find this bundle a good value.

However, if you’re focusing your communication lessons on types of public speaking other than those included in the unit, you may need additional resources to cover these content areas.

2. Public Speaking Lessons from Money Instructor

money-instructor

Money Instructor is a membership-based organization dedicated to teaching basic money skills to students.

In addition, they have a section on the website focused on career, work, and business lessons -- including communication and public speaking lessons.

Specifically, you’ll find six lessons to teach public speaking, titled:

  1. Making Effective Presentations
  2. Importance of Public Speaking and Dealing with Fear
  3. The Communication Process
  4. The Importance of Ethics
  5. Understanding Audience Psychology
  6. Word Choice, Imagery, and Rhythm

Making Effective Presentations teaches students the importance of good presentation skills. It also gives them tips on how to stay focused, keep an audience interested, and answer questions.

Importance of Public Speaking and Dealing with Fear introduces students to the importance of public speaking. In addition, students will learn the causes of stage fright and how to overcome them.

The Communication Process teaches students about the communication process and how to apply it to public speaking.

The Importance of Ethics gives students an overview of ethical behavior in public presentations. As part of the lesson, students will identify ethical and unethical behavior in speakers, so they’ll know the behaviors and language to avoid when speaking.

Understanding Audience Psychology helps students understand the psychology of an audience and how to use those principles to make a speech more effective.

Word Choice, Imagery, and Rhythm shows students how to incorporate effective word choice, imagery, and rhythm into speeches.

Each lesson contains everything you need from start to finish, including:

  • Teaching materials
  • Student worksheets
  • Lesson procedures
  • Follow up activities
  • Evaluation methods

Overall, these lesson plans from Money Instructor can help you teach a variety of lessons related to public speaking -- from the basics to more advanced concepts!

The only thing to keep in mind is that some of the lessons are geared more towards older students or adults. That means you’ll want to comb through every detail to make sure you pick the most relevant and age-appropriate information to include in your public speaking curriculum.

If you’re concerned that these lessons may not be age-appropriate for middle school students, you can find an equally robust resource in the next item on our list!

3. Public Speaking Bundle from Secondary Sara

secondary-sara

Secondary Sara is a well-known publisher on the Teachers Pay Teachers online education marketplace.

Secondary Sara has more than 230 products available on Teachers Pay Teachers, including a bundle of public speaking lesson plans.

This bundle costs $64.99 and has more than 325 pages of resources to help teach public speaking.

This includes a diverse range of topics like:
  • Introduction to public speaking
  • Posture and movement
  • Using visual aids
  • Rhetoric, propaganda, and fallacies
  • Conference talks
  • Class debates
  • And more!

Each lesson includes resources such as class discussions, lecture notes, student activities, and assessments.

Together, these lessons and activities can fill an entire semester of classes while teaching students the intricacies of speaking publicly.

This lesson plan bundle is an excellent option for any teacher looking for a ready-to-use public speaking curriculum to teach a speech class.

However, if you aren’t teaching a full semester class on public speaking, this resource may be too in-depth (and too expensive)!

Need to Teach Your Middle School Students More 21st Century Skills?

Despite how valuable public speaking is in the modern workforce,  finding materials to teach it to middle schoolers can be a hassle.

In this article, however, you've discovered some of the most reliable lesson plans out there to teach your kids the ins and outs of public speaking. If you use these resources right, your students will be able to shrug off stage fright and go on to be rhetorical rockstars. 

But public speaking isn't the only valuable 21st Century skill out there. If you want your kids to succeed in the workforce, they'll need to learn the three other "C's" that every modern professional uses daily: creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration! 

To that end, check out our guide to teaching the Four C's of 21st Century Skills. This in-depth guide will go into the details of each of these skills, why they matter, and how you can bring them into your classroom:

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