JLBC Elementary school:

JLBC Elementary school: You will likely have to remind the president of opening with a flag salute and a word of encouragement to the participants. You may also need to remind the participants and yourself of the duties above in the high school list (i.e., timekeeping, minutes, passing workbooks to evaluators, etc.). Elementary-level officers are too young to pay attention to these things, but the plan will help significantly with this. Also, feel free to adapt even more for the younger ones. They don’t need to follow the line to the degree the older participants will be doing. It’s likely more accessible for you to do the timekeeping and take notes as a general evaluator.

Most JLBC participants need help in selecting a topic for the first speech. Leaving the choice open-ended may be overwhelming for some participants. Several approaches to solve this problem have been used effectively. Participants may want to deliver a speech on a project that has been assigned in another class; this is good practice because the project may require a presentation already. Another way to deal with indecision is to give the same theme to all participants for the first speech.

One way that has been used in several JLBCs worked well. Without telling them why they are doing the exercise, you ask them to write their full name vertically on a piece of paper and quickly think of a noun for each letter. Tell them to pick a subject from that list. The variety of topics presented keeps the whole group engaged.

For younger participants, a more accessible topic would be to have them do an Ice Breaker Speech.

Table Topics usually start in the second or third session. After demonstrating how to lead the Table Topics portion of the second session, the participants may be ready to teach it going forward. We included a PowerPoint lesson that shows good speech structure for middle school and older participants. This lesson gives them a great starting point. See Table Topics: Techniques for Table Topics and Speeches.

Table Topic questions can be drawn from a variety of sources. Ask questions from a deck of Table Talk Cards or the More Chat Pack. You can get creative and do a theme based on a book that is a current hit. Prompts may be drawn from familiar children’s books, such as the Cat in the Hat for elementary or middle schoolers. After gaining some experience with Table Topics, participants in high school can come up with great topics. Numerous lists of issues can be found on the internet.

Be sure to review whichever list you choose to ensure the topics are age-appropriate. We recommend that the Secretary or the Liaison keep track of who speaks on which Table Topic so that you continue to use new ones.

You can also have the participants vote and give out a “Best Table Topics Speaker” ribbon. You can print voting slips.

Topics Speaker Slips.

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