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Common Core Standards: ELA See All Teacher Resources

Grades 9-10

Speaking and Listening SL.9-10.5

SL.9-10.5. Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

This standard asks students to use their laptops, tablets, and smartphones for something more than texting and playing Angry Birds. As it turns out, not only are these items great for entertainment and keeping track of the latest gossip, but they’re also great ways to get the audience involved in a speech by encouraging them to do something they already spend several hours a day doing: staring at a screen. (Added bonus: Your students can finally teach you how to run the classroom’s DVD player!)

Example 1

Sample Activities for Use in Class

1. What Can We Use?

Give students a broad sample topic. They can work on this either in groups or as a class. The topic can be nearly anything, as long as there are several different digital media options available to present information on that topic. (For instance: “How Airplanes Stay Up,” “The Least Interesting U.S. President Ever,” and so on.) Have students brainstorm possible digital media options for displaying information on this topic to an audience of their peers, both in small group interactions and in large lecture-hall-type settings.

Some of the options, like PowerPoint slides or videos, may be obvious. Encourage students to move beyond the obvious, however, by thinking in terms of interactive tools like audience quizzes or by changing “classic” media to a digital format, like electronic documents or e-books. You may also want to have students rank the perceived usefulness of each item, giving their reasons why it is extremely useful, somewhat useful, or not at all useful. If a type of digital media seems “not at all useful,” have students name something that is useful that could replace it.

Example 2

2. Accommodations

Figuring out the best way to get a message across isn’t always about amazing graphics and surround sound. In fact, preparing for the audience you’re likely to have goes a lot further than having the latest technology.

For this activity, you may want to make a list yourself or have students make one of their own. The list should contain examples of several groups of people with disabilities or conditions that students would need to adapt a presentation for in order to ensure each person is able to understand the material and participate. For instance, you may include individuals who are visually or hearing impaired, have dyslexia or other learning disabilities, or have physical conditions that make it difficult for them to sit in a lecture hall or similar location long enough to hear a speech. Since some individuals have multiple disabilities, you may want to give some of the people on the list multiple conditions as well.

In groups or as a class, have students go through the list one example at a time and think of ways to adapt a simple speech - say, for a student body president campaign - so that each person on the list can understand the speech and participate in a question and answer or similar feedback session afterwards. For an added challenge, have students create a plan for a presentation that accommodates everyone on the list.

Quiz 1 Questions

Here's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.

  1. How can using digital media help when you are giving a speech?

    Correct Answer:

    All of the above.

  2. Which of these things is NOT an example of digital media that could be used in a presentation?

    Correct Answer:

    A pair of AA batteries

    Answer Explanation:

    The answer is (E).

    They may be necessary to run some gadget that accesses digital media, but they are not media themselves.

  3. Which of the following is a type of digital media that could be used to replace paper notes or handouts to use with a presentation?

    Correct Answer:

    A digital copy of the notes or handouts emailed to everyone in the audience after a speech is given.

  4. Speakers should back up their digital aids with a non-digital method, like paper. Which of the following is the BEST argument to support this statement?

    Correct Answer:

    If the power goes out or an equipment malfunction happens, you’ll still have your notes or other aids and be able to give your speech.

  5. Which of the following is one way you could use digital media to find out what your audience thinks about a certain topic?

    Correct Answer:

    Provide computers or smartphone apps that audience members can use to take an online poll.

  6. You’re giving a talk about the size of the solar system (which is very, very large). Which of the following things would be LEAST helpful in explaining to your audience just how big the solar system is?

    Correct Answer:

    A sound recording of Holst’s symphony piece “The Planets.”

  7. One advantage that electronic documents have over paper is:

    Correct Answer:

    They are easy to share by email or online.

  8. One advantage that paper documents have over electronic ones is:

    Correct Answer:

    They can be used even if there is no electricity or no one has the right kind of hardware or software to view them.

  9. You’ve just finished a science fair project that required you to gather thousands and thousands of pieces of data, which are represented by pages and pages of tiny numbers. A third-grade teacher in your school district wants you to come talk to her class about your project. What would be the MOST helpful way to show the third-graders your data?

    Correct Answer:

    Make colorful graphs or charts that show how the numbers are related.

  10. Why would it be better to use visual media to explain your numbers in Question 9, instead of just giving your third-grade audience the raw data?

    Correct Answer:

    The numbers won’t mean anything to the students, but pictures can help them understand what the numbers mean.

Quiz 2 Questions

Here's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.

  1. PowerPoint presentations are MOST useful when you want the audience to:

    Correct Answer:

    Be able to follow along with the main points while you fill in the details in your speech.

  2. PowerPoint presentations are LEAST helpful when you want the audience to:

    Correct Answer:

    Read the details off the screen while you announce the main points, and then stand around awkwardly.

  3. A speech titled “The Greatest Band That Ever Rocked” would be improved MOST by adding which kind of media?

    Correct Answer:

    One or more audio clips of the band’s music.

  4. Which of the following is NOT an example of digital media?

    Correct Answer:

    All of the above things are examples of digital media.

  5. Which of the following is a reason NOT to make all learning materials digital?

    Correct Answer:

    Digital materials have to be looked at on computerized equipment, which is still more expensive than paper.

  6. You’re preparing to give a speech to your class when you learn that the English classes from the nearby school for the deaf are also going to attend. Which of the following technologies will BEST help them to get the information in your speech?

    Correct Answer:

    Speech-to-text software that projects the words you speak onto a large screen so the audience can read them.

  7. You’re preparing a talk on how ancient civilizations in Central America once trained Chihuahuas as attack dogs. Which of the following digital aids are you LEAST likely to find in an online search?

    Correct Answer:

    A video recording of ancient Central American armies training their Chihuahuas.

    Answer Explanation:

    The answer is (D).

    This technology simply didn’t exist back then.

  8. You want as many people as possible to be able to attend and enjoy your Chihuahua speech, regardless of the type or degree of disabilities they might have. Which of the following things can help you share your speech with a wide range of people?

    Correct Answer:

    All of the above would help people with various disabilities enjoy your speech.

  9. One advantage of making a chart or graph out of a table of numbers is:

    Correct Answer:

    It makes the data in the table of numbers easier to understand.

  10. One reason you might use a digital or electronic poll, like an online poll, is:

    Correct Answer:

    To see what your audience already knows.

Aligned Resources

More standards from Grades 9-10 - Speaking and Listening