Class Project: “We Care” Group Advocacy Presentations Assignment Sheet
Note for Teachers
This assignment is intended as a longer 2-3 week class project, ideally in the middle of the year, so that students know each other but also still have more time to take their public speaking skills to the next level. The public speaking skills involved in this assignment are fairly standard presentation skills within the comfort of a group. The purpose of this project is to help students advocate for an issue of personal importance in collaboration with others.
As you facilitate this project, make sure students put a great deal of thought into their choice of group members to make sure they have issues and interests in common (rather than just picking their friends). You may want to introduce this project by having students do an activity where they share their reactions to different controversial prompts or communicate their interests and opinions to others. Once they find their groups, make sure students clearly define the problem and societal need they are addressing through their project. Ask them questions such as “Who would disagree with your stance?” to make sure they are expressing a unique position and wording their central idea as a compelling driving question. Do not skimp on time for field and desk research on the issue and keep them accountable to backing up their arguments.
Since they are presenting in groups, finding time for presentations should not be as much of an issue as other assignments. Grades should be completed for each individual student (not for the group as a whole), using the same multiple grader approach with rubrics (peers and teachers).
Effective communication skills are an important tool for advocating and speaking up for the needs of others. Beyond simply getting a point across, communication is a vehicle for promoting understanding, listening to others, and building relationships. This assignment highlights collaboration and interpersonal skills, both in terms of working with a team and also interacting with others to investigate a core driving question. It also gives you a chance to review the course content about advocacy and continue practicing your persuasive and informative speaking skills.
What is the purpose of this assignment?
- To use your voice to advocate for others and practice collaboration and group presentation skills.
What is this presentation about?
- After selecting your group members, you will work together to identify a single theme or driving question that investigates an issue of importance to youth.
- Your group is free to define what “important to youth” means, including what your focal population is. For instance, you can focus on what is important to just the people in this class, a subsection of students at school, or a random representation of youth as a whole.
- As you define the driving question, make sure that your question is worded in a way that is compelling and intriguing to an audience, meaning that the question draws us in and is also easy to understand. Your question should also be complex enough to deserve further investigation, which means it will likely be a “how” or “why” question.
How long is the presentation and what should the content include?
- The group presentation will be a total of 20 minutes long, and each person must speak for a total of 5 minutes (each group has 3 or 4 people). You may use notes, although there should be some aspect of spontaneous speaking (don’t script it completely).
- Your presentation content must include field research, meaning that you collect information from actual students using methods such as interviewing, podcasting, surveys, or polls. When you present, clearly describe where and how you gathered this information.
- The format of the presentation is up to your group, but it should draw from the content covered in class. For example, you may want to include an issue speech, but you also might show a mock debate about the issue, or even a discussion, mock interview, or simulation involving listening. You also could draw from the templates we will cover on self-advocacy, showing how someone might share another person’s experience or advocate for their needs.
- Basically, this assignment requires you to review course content, make clear choices about how you present, and apply our new skills to real-world situations.
When is it due?
- Final presentations will take place during class time on ______. The order will be decided randomly, and will be announced on ______.
- You will spend time brainstorming ideas with your group on _________, designing field research instruments and analyzing data on ___________, and deciding on the format and finalizing content on _______________.
- On _____________, you should be prepared to work on speaking delivery with peers and the teacher who will provide feedback to help you improve.
- The presentations will be graded the same way as all past assignments (rubrics from self, peer, and teacher). It is worth ____% of your grade.
- Good luck!