Most third-graders have little experience with public speaking. Up to this point in their education, they have had few instances in which they were required to show their smarts in front of peers through the presentation of a speech. While these early learners will likely not yet be adept public speakers, it is advantageous to begin the process of practicing speaking in public. By engaging your students in the composition and presentation of speeches, you give them the opportunity to build their confidence and prepare for the public speaking-related challenges they will face later in their education.

My Family Vacation

Ask your third-graders to recount a fun time they had with their family members by instructing them to compose speeches in which they describe their family vacation experiences. Instruct each pupil to select a memorable vacation and describe it in as much detail as possible. Assist students in composing their explanations by guiding them through the prewriting process and ask them to create webs containing details about their adventure. Encourage students to adopt a chronological structure when composing their speeches to make their explanations clear and easy to follow.

If I Could Be a Superhero

Many third-graders have a preoccupation with superheroes. Tap into this natural interest by asking students to compose speeches in which they explain what they would most like about being a superhero. Begin this speech assignment creatively by asking pupils to draw pictures of themselves as superheroes. After this introduction, ask students to use their pictures as inspiration and compose an explanation of whom they would be if they were a superhero. Remind students to include in their speeches their superhero names, what their costumes would look like and what powers they would possess.

Traveling to Space

While none of your third-graders have taken off into space, the prospect of doing so is likely thrilling. Ask each of your pupils to compose a space-related speech and present it to the class. Allow each pupil to select a topic relevant to space travel, such as man's first walk on the moon or space stations. Provide students with print media related to space for them to use in their research efforts. After all the students have researched their selected topics and composed their speeches, allow them to present to the class.

Book Commercial

Get your third-graders excited about reading by allowing them to compose and present book commercials. Ask each student to select a book that he particularly enjoyed. Instruct the student to compose a short speech in which he outlines the strong points of the book and encourages his peers to read it. Encourage the students to integrate visual aids into their commercials by bringing in their featured books to hold up to their classmates or dressing as a character from the story.