Practical Sheet

Boosting young teller´s confidence

SHEET #4

How can we improve a boosting young teller ´s confidence to tell a story?
How can we face the fear of public speaking?

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Self-esteem is an individual concept that consolidates over the years. It is essential for the development of any child. And we, adults, parents, teachers and friends, can help, transmitting foundations that promote a positive self-esteem, capable of strengthening the child in the face of the greatest challenges.

Learning to speak in public improves communication skills and increases our confidence when we are young.

In addition, public speaking helps the child develop other important skills such as arguing, debating or organizing. Skills such as persuasion and leadership are cultivated from an early age when speaking in public.

Therefore, children need to learn to lose the fear of doing so and to communicate their ideas. Here are some proposals on how to help them gain confidence while speaking in front of a group.

Always give children opportunities to talk about what they like to do, what they feel; provide moments of daily conversation in the classroom, especially during the storytelling session, where children can express themselves. The teacher will be a mere listener. By letting them talk about a subject they are comfortable about and that is not subject to an evaluation, they will have more freedom to speak and feel more comfortable doing so. Speaking will then be associated with a positive feeling instead of being associated with the dread of performance assessment.

  1. Develop a critical attitude in students by letting them express their own ideas. This will make them feel safe.
  2. Don’t talk in the student’s place when he is with other children and adults giving the excuse that children are shy.
    Teachers/guardians should let the student/young person answer for themselves at their own pace. Never answer for them but encourage them to speak.
  3. Listening to short stories from an early age enriches the vocabulary and helps structure the listeners’ ideas.
  4. Give a positive reinforcement every time the student speaks in front of the class.
  5. To use simple and short words and short sentences with students with more learning difficulties.

HOW TO DO IT?

Start by asking the student to tell short jokes or riddles that are easily memorable and then make the student feel more confident in more complex narratives.

Provide moments of daily dialogue/conversation on topics chosen by students, such as: what they like to do most, their favorite animals, favorite games… and thus always help them when they feel lost and always encourage them to talk a little more at a time.

With the support of books, puppets or story boxes, the teacher can start a story and share it with the students, proposing questions that will serve as a script for them to tell an extra passage, thus completing the teacher’s narrative. (for more information, see sheet Objects and Propos)

In addition to the storytelling circle, the moment of drawing conclusions is important for the construction of the stories, being another of the reasons why teachers need to feed the children’s games by proposing several possibilities.

In the classroom, children should perform various orality exercises such as pretending to be other people/characters (story characters, father, mother, teacher, an animal, policeman, postman, journalist, fairy, monsters etc.).

The conversation circle should be a permanent and daily activity, it is a moment of interaction and dialogue between students, the teacher. It acts by mediating the conversations proposing situations so that children can express themselves with this activity the teacher can arrange work situations orally.

The child talks about his favorite animal, can he imitate his animal and another child has to find out which one it is?

Create moments where students talk about what they like to do most in their free time, the teacher will always be a mere listener.

Suggestions
Provide in the classroom the corner of news/readings/conversation.
(Form a circle with students on the floor with pillows or chairs, create an environment where everyone feels comfortable).

💡 Activity 1

The teacher proposes situations where students can tell their weekend, talk about their pet, etc… 

(From 6 years)

💡 Activity 2

Making imitation jokes, using onomatopoeias. Ex: how does the phone ring? What’s a cat meow like? Imitating a plane… 

Work rhymes, tongue twisters… 

Give activities that work with the organs of speech: snapping the lips, vibrating the tongue. 

(From 6 years)

💡 Activity 3

Place several objects in a “secret box” and each student takes one at a time and should name it and state its functions.  

Place papers with instructions and the student must reproduce the instructions. 

(Speak singing, speak as quickly as possible, and imitate animals…) 

(From 8 years)

💡 Activity 4

A link between the school and the house: telling the story/point worked on in the classroom to the parents/grandparents. 

(From 8 years) 

💡 Activity 5 

The teacher tells a story, and the student continues the story using his/her imagination. 

(From 7 years) 

💡 Activity 6 

Listen to stories and then ask students in groups to retell the story to their classmates or retell the story in another class… 

(From 8 years) 

💡 Activity 7 

Interviewing students in the playground, some students play journalist or film… 

Challenge students to take the role of journalist and/or interviewee (in small groups) 

Filming the activity is so that students can observe and comment on their performances. 

Students can then get feedback on their work. 

And it is up to the teacher to always praise his students so that they feel more confident. 

The teacher should always give positive reinforcement to his students and make constructive criticism. 

(From 8 years) 

💡 Activity 8 

The teacher reads a story/point and proposes to the students the construction of puppets of the characters and each student recounts the story with the help of the puppets. 

A group of 4 or 5 students dramatize the story and the teacher films to comment later on and reinforce the students’ confidence. 

(From 8 years) 

💡 Activity 9 

Invite parents/grandparents to go to school to tell stories and then reverse the roles; propose that students tell stories to their invited grandparents.