Speech Boot Camp consists of 4 x DVDs. The teacher and student notes are printed out, and armed with a DVD player, a pencil, and table or music stand (we happened to own a lectern – but of course, this is not necessary), you can began the course. Originally, the DVDs were filmed over a 4-day period, and the students involved needed to write and present four separate speeches in that time. However, the lesson plans break the course into 11 sessions (with an optional 12th session), which can be done over the course of 11 weeks, 11 days, or however you choose to implement it. We opted to do 2 lessons per week, meaning that it would take us 6 weeks. Students are required to give 4 talks during that time: a self-introduction speech, a narrative speech, and expository (or descriptive) speech, and finally a persuasive speech. The time of each speech varied from 3 minutes up to 7 minutes, and students are required to write a key word outline, much the same as if they were writing an essay, and then present the speech in the following lesson.
As always with products from IEW, students are not just given topics and told to go away and prepare their talk. Full instructions are given as to ‘how’ to go about the process, and as well, sample student speeches were presented on the DVD. In this way, the students know exactly what is required of them. They are given suggested topics, but the actual subject matter remains the student’s own choice, and we found that, even though there were only four of us completing the course, we came up with a wide variety of topics. These included entertaining stories, cats vs dogs, digital cameras, and even ‘how to write a speech’. Feedback forms are given out at the beginning of each presentation, and students are asked to provide comments and suggestions for each other. This can become a little ‘dicey’, especially where siblings are involved, however, I found my children gave each other fair and honest comments, and offered praise and encouragement to each other.
Speech Boot Camp again in the future.