January 9, 2009

Bad Beginnings

Pretend you're in a middle school state of mind and step down into the gutter. Not waaaaaay down into the gutter. Just enough.

My students were asked to read a biography or autobiography and give a speech this week. The one thing I noticed about many of the students is that they don't know how to begin a speech. I know we've been over this, and it's not lost on ALL of the students. Some of them have phenomenal, interesting beginnings.

But the others...

"I did my project on..." Past tense? Aren't you giving the presentation right now?

"I did mine on..." Your what?

The very best is when they start off with, "I did..."

As in...

"I did Martin Luther King, Jr."
"I did John F. Kennedy."
"I did Stephen Hawking."
"I did Ronald Reagan."
"I did Adolf Hitler."

Really? Ew! Work on your beginnings! Or people might get the wrong idea.

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