Public speaking is highly valued and encouraged at every grade. One of the regular opportunities to practice this important skill is during current events presentations. From junior kindergarten through fourth grade, students give oral presentations about current events of their own choosing to their peers and parents in class. These presentations encourage
students to connect with news from around the world, understand nonfiction text, and translate the information into their own words.
Since these presentations are done each year, students become increasingly proficient at finding relevant articles, taking notes on their reading, synthesizing information, and preparing an engaging demonstration to educate others on a topic.
Tuesday through Thursday, each grade conducts current events at the beginning of the school day where one student presents in front of their entire grade with their parents and siblings in attendance. Current events typically start after the second week of school and continue until the end of the academic year. This gives each child multiple opportunities to present.
The students’ five minute presentation is followed by audience questions and compliments. Students are encouraged to use visual aids (e.g., trifold with pictures, images to project under a document camera, Google Slides) to accompany their talks. Students are also trained to stand with a calm body, speak clearly and loudly, and make eye contact with the audience. Where developmentally appropriate, students may write speaker’s notes for themselves and to refer to them when needed during their presentations but discouraged from reading off their notes during the entire event