Guide to Youth Amplified

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Guide to Youth Amplified
YOUTH AMPLIFIED
Teacher guide
A comprehensive guide for educators who are using
www.youthamplified.com to improve their students’ speaking skills. Here you
will find our insights along with suggestions for offline activity which can
support and enhance your interaction with the learning tools.
Youth Amplified has been developed through a joint project by Speakers’
Corner Trust and the University of Leeds. The resources have been designed
by Bold Creative. This document has been created by the University of Leeds in
collaboration with teachers and facilitators.
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Contents Page
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3
INTRODUCTION
So many young people feel that nobody listens to their views. Teaching about
Citizenship and Democracy in schools has expanded and improved in recent
years and there are now some great schemes that give young people the
opportunity to have their say and create impact. However, even when they have
the motivation to be engaged and access to people who make it worthwhile,
young people don't always feel that they have the speaking skills to deal with
those opportunities effectively. Youth Amplified seeks to address that
deficiency by providing resources in a format that will appeal to young people
and support teachers and youth workers both within and beyond the school
setting.
Youth Amplified focuses upon s p e a k i n g i n p u b l i c , which is not quite the
same as ‘public speaking’. The latter tends to refer to set speeches and
debates, but there are many other situations in which young people find
themselves wanting or needing to have their say, but not being sure how best
to go about it. The aim of Youth Amplified is to help young people to speak in
public about matters that fall within the broad and ill-defined category of
‘citizenship’, i.e. matters relating to social co-existence with friends and
strangers, institutions and authorities, nations and neighbourhoods.
The Youth Amplified approach to developing civic expression in 11 to 18 yearolds revolves around 6 k e y c a p a c i t i e s (see section 2) which can be
developed and practised in schools and youth groups. Once nurtured, these
capacities will enable young people to speak in public without making the most
obvious mistakes.
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T h i s g u i d e b o o k is aimed at teachers and youth workers. It should be used in
conjunction with the Y o u t h A m p l i f i e d w e b s i t e : www.youthamplified.com,
which includes animated films in which young people discuss the skills they
need to speak confidently and effectively in public; videos in which young
people talk about speaking challenges they have faced with the opportunity for
classes and groups to discuss their own solutions, submit them to the site and
compare their ideas with those sent in by others; and a self-evaluation quiz
designed to identify and feed back upon personal speaking strengths and
weaknesses.
An important feature of Youth Amplified is that all the research and practice
upon which this guidebook is based has been derived from working with young
people who were encouraged to define and articulate all of the themes that
follow. The content on the website is in their words, not ours; the activities that
are set out were all tried with groups of 11to18 year-olds – and only the ones
they found useful are included here. In short, the approach taken here to
speaking in public is youth-led.
The overall aim of Youth Amplified is to help nurture a generation of young
people who feel that when they have something to say about the world they live
in they have the capacities to express themselves boldly and effectively. The
ethos of Youth Amplified is that life’s not a silent movie; speaking up and
listening well are essential aspects of active citizenship. Democracy, if it is to
be engaging and inclusive, must be open to all kinds of voices, experiences
and forms of expression. Youth Amplified offers an educational toolkit for
anyone between 11 and 18 who wants to be heard as well as seen.
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1) YOUTH AMPLIFIED AND EFFECTIVE CITIZENSHIP: A
RATIONALE
Citizenship is about making your mark on and contributing to the world around
you as an equal member of society. Youth Amplified focuses upon three kinds
of making: making your voice heard; making common cause with other people;
and making a difference. The following sections explain why we think that the
key capacities promoted by Youth Amplified are essential for effective
education for citizenship (whether in Citizenship and PHSE lessons or other
parts of the curriculum or beyond school).
1.1 Making your voice heard
Everyone has good ideas and strong opinions - but few have the confidence or
experience to communicate them to others. Those who have the skills and are
used to speaking up for themselves are more likely to be able to influence
decisions that affect not only their daily lives, but also ours. Public expression
is power - which is why the leaders of repressive regimes go to such lengths to
deny their subjects freedom of speech.
In our democracy, whatever its shortcomings, we do have that right to speak
out in public about anything that concerns us. If we think that the government
should be thrown out, we can say so. If we think that society’s values and
priorities should be different, we are free to say so and to argue for better
ones. If we want public funding to be spent on X rather than Y, we can let
people know our views. We should not only celebrate these freedoms, but
learn to use them well. This involves knowing the best ways of expressing
ourselves – and avoiding the worst ways.
Self expression is about personal fulfilment too. Imagine what it would be like
to lose the power of speech altogether – how difficult life would be on a
practical level when you can’t communicate what you want or need and how
disabling and frustrating it would be not to be able to express what you think
or how you feel.
Our ability to express ourselves is central to the way we live our lives – to the
way we build relationships with others, within our families, amongst our
friends and in our community. When people aren’t talking, relationships either
haven’t been established or else have broken down; either way that’s a failure
and one which leads to unhappy individuals and fragile communities.
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These are all reasons why speaking up and speaking out - and valuing and
exercising our and others’ right to free expression - is important. Yet for many,
the idea of expressing opinions to other people is a terrifying prospect something they have never managed to do and would never try. Acquiring
some basic skills, of the kind outlined in this guidebook, could change all that
– and for some, as we found with the young people involved in the development
of these resources, it can be a life-changing experience.
The first and perhaps most important lesson is to have confidence in your
ideas and opinions. They count just as much as anyone else’s. If you don’t
speak out about what matters to you, nothing will change.
Once you’ve decided that you have an idea to express, you need to acquire
some basic techniques about how to focus your thoughts; how to make a
strong case; how to project your voice; how to use your body so that it supports
what you want to say; and how to breathe in ways that help you get your ideas
out clearly. Once you’ve learned these skills, your confidence will begin to
grow.
1.2 Making common cause
But that’s not all it takes to make an impact. Very few people get to change the
world - or even their small corner of it - on their own. Even those great
prophets and leaders who have altered the course of history have only done so
because they were able by argument or example to inspire other people to
follow them. So making common cause – agreeing with others about what
needs to be done and how to do it – is crucial to achieving any goal which
involves more than one person.
Reaching that kind of agreement will rarely mean that everyone starts out with
either the same view or the same objective - or even that they can be
persuaded to adopt someone else’s. It’s more likely to be achieved through the
kind of negotiation and compromise which recognises, respects and draws
strength from the fact that people are different and have different needs and
interests as well as different and often unexpected and sometimes exciting
ideas to offer. Generating support for an idea or a cause requires not only
strong and clear opinions which might persuade or motivate others, but also
the quieter art of compromise - the patience, understanding and flexibility
needed to listen to alternative views and negotiate about core values and
interests.
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Making common cause involves building understanding and alliances between
groups whose objectives might at first sight appear dissimilar. Care should be
taken because it may not always be possible to do so without going too far in
compromising principles, complicating objectives or losing existing support.
But sometimes one group’s campaign, for example against some form of
discrimination, might have much in common with another’s. The art of
compromise is to find and focus on what unites people rather than what
divides them.
The conviction that ‘unity is strength’ is as old as Aesop’s Fables. It recognises
that countries, communities and even small groups of people are stronger
when they stand together, united by a shared identity or around a common
cause. The fact that many people support an argument doesn’t necessarily
make it right or mean that it will prevail. But certainly, a thoughtful, clearly
expressed and widely supported campaign is difficult to ignore and more likely
to succeed.
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1.3 Making a difference
Once you’ve developed the confidence and skills to speak up in public, and
thought about the best ways of building support for what you believe in, the
next crucial stage is to try to make a difference. This involves getting decisionmakers to listen to you.
We’ve all been in arguments in which neither side is listening to the other and
which consist of both parties endlessly repeating their own point of view in the
hope that the other will just get bored and give up. No one wins those
arguments; no one learns anything new; nothing changes; no one benefits.
Political debates are often like that: everyone is determined to disagree and no
one is prepared to change their mind.
But we’ve also all been influenced by someone who’s introduced us to a new
idea or experience in a way we’ve found engaging, attractive and nonthreatening. It can be done.
The object of argument and debate is to influence others so that they come to
share, or at least respect, your point of view. Ideally, if they’re a decisionmaker, you want them to make a decision that they might not otherwise have
made. This is unlikely to be achieved by shouting at them. Persuasion is
always likely to be the better option and this involves speaking up in three
particular ways.
First, if you are trying to influence me, I will want to be convinced that you
believe what you’re saying, that it’s important to you and that you know what
you’re talking about. So, persuasive argument requires both sincerity and
forethought - and perhaps a little research.
Second, I will want be clear that what you’re asking me to do is reasonable and
achievable. No amount of conviction or passion will convince someone to do
something they can’t do. So, being persuasive means understanding other
people’s needs, interests and priorities as well as your own – and, so far as
possible, speaking in terms that they can understand.
Third, persuasion requires listening as well as speaking. The best advocates of
a cause are open-minded and willing to compromise. Getting a little is
sometimes better than getting nothing at all – and giving a little can also help
the other side to make concessions of their own. So, trying to match your
demands to the interests of the other party is likely to prove more successful
than emphasising differences or, worse still, seeking aggressive confrontation.
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2) DEFINITIONS OF THE 6 CAPACITIES
Youth Amplified is not intended to provide tips on formal oratory, rhetoric or
debating. Speaking in public involves more than standing in front of an
audience and making a speech – although it sometimes includes that as well.
It is about a range of situations, from visiting the local council to persuade
them to keep the local skate-park open, to discussing issues in the news with
friends, to complaining about bad service, to stopping people in the street and
asking them to sign your petition. For all of these situations, and many others,
there are 6 key capacities that young people need to develop. These are
outlined in the following sub-sections.
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2.1 Confidence – feeling positive about how you express yourself
To see definitions of Confidence by 11 to 18 year-olds in their own words, go to
the ‘Learn’ section of the Youth Amplified website. After showing these to your
class or youth group, you could ask them how they would define Confidence in
their own words.
Here are some further definitions and explanations of Confidence that might
be useful:
“I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes
from within. It is there all the time”. Anna Freud, daughter of Sigmund Freud
and founder of child psychology, 1895-1982
“Attempt easy tasks as if they were difficult, and difficult as if they were easy;
in the one case that confidence may not fall asleep, in the other that it may not
be dismayed”. Baltasar Gracian, Spanish writer, 1601-1658
“You can't connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking
backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your
future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.
Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the
confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path”
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, 1955-2011
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2.2 Projection – using your body and voice to support what you say
To see definitions of Projection by 11 to 18 year-olds in their own words, go to
the ‘Learn’ of the Youth Amplified website. After showing these to your class or
youth group, perhaps you could ask them how they would define Projection in
their own words.
Here are some further definitions and explanations of Projection that might be
useful:
“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice
to infuse them with deeper meaning”. Maya Angelou, American author and
poet, 1928“We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it
has been expressed is unsympathetic to us”. Friedrich Nietzche, philosopher,
1844-1900
“Don't look at me in that tone of voice”. David Farber, Professor of Computer
Science, 1940“Often there is eloquence in a silent look”. Latin proverb
“Eloquence is a painting of the thoughts”. Blaise Pascal, French
mathematician and inventor, 1623-1662
“I speak two languages, Body and English”. Mae West, American actress,
1893-1980
“Body language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had
speech, and apparently, 80% of what you understand in a conversation is read
through the body, not the words”. Deborah Bull, Creative Director of the Royal
Opera House, 1963-
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2.3 Negotiation – reaching agreements that benefit both parties
To see definitions of Negotiation by 11 to 18 year-olds in their own words, go to
‘Learn’ of the Youth Amplified website. After showing these to your class or
youth group, perhaps you could ask them how they would define Negotiation in
their own words.
Here are some further definitions and explanations of Negotiation that might
be useful:
“If you come to a negotiation table saying you have the final truth, that you
know nothing but the truth and that is final, you will get nothing”. Harri
Holkeri, Prime Minister of Finland, 1937-2011
“Start out with an ideal and end up with a deal”. Karl Albrecht, German
billionaire businessman, 1920“Let us never negotiate out of fear; but let us never fear to negotiate”. John F.
Kennedy, American President, 1917-1963
“Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to
break”. Jane Wells, American journalist, 1961“All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take
on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For
it is all give and no take”. Mohandas Ghandi, Indian leader and proponent of
non-violence, 1869-1948
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2.4 Listening – actively engaging with what someone else is saying
To see definitions of Listening by 11 to 18 year-olds in their own words, go to
the ‘Learn’ of the Youth Amplified website. After showing these to your class or
youth group, perhaps you could ask them how they would define Listening in
their own words.
Here are some further definitions and explanations of Listening that might be
useful to you:
"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak, Courage is also what it takes
to sit down and listen". Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister, 1874-1965
“To listen well, is as powerful a means of influence as to talk well, and is as
essential to all true conversation”. Chinese proverb
“A good listener tries to understand what the other person is saying. In the end
he may disagree sharply, but because he disagrees, he wants to know exactly
what it is he is disagreeing with”. Kenneth A. Wells, author of Guide to Good
Leadership, 1951“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure
you realize that what you heard is not what I meant”. Robert McCloskey,
Children’s Writer, 1914-2003
“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he
spoke the more he heard; Why aren't we like that wise old bird?” Fable.
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2.5 Argumentation – demonstrating the appeal of what you are saying
To see definitions of Argumentation by 11 to 18 year-olds in their own words,
go to the ‘Learn’ of the Youth Amplified website. After showing these to your
class or youth group, perhaps you could ask them how they would define
Argumentation in their own words.
Here are some further definitions and explanations of Argumentation that
might be useful:
“How many a dispute could have been deflated into a single paragraph if the
disputants had dared to define their terms?” Aristotle,Greek philosopher, 384322 BCE
“Prejudices are what fools use for reason”. Voltaire, French philosopher, 16941778
“Use soft words and hard arguments” English proverb
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2.6 Persuasion – changing someone’s mind about a point of view they had
previously overlooked, disagreed with or misunderstood
To see definitions of Persuasion by 11 to 18 year-olds in their own words, go to
the ‘Learn’ of the Youth Amplified website. After showing these to your class or
youth group, perhaps you could ask them how they would define Persuasion in
their own words.
Here are some further definitions and explanations of Persuasion that might
be useful:
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you
talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart”. Nelson Mandela, former
President of South Africa, 1918-
“In making a speech one must study three points: first, the means
of producing persuasion; second, the language; third the proper
arrangement of the various parts of the speech”. Aristotle, Greek philosopher,
384-322 BCE
“The best way to persuade people is with your ears - by listening to them”.
Dean Rusk, US Secretary of State under John F. Kennedy, 1909-1994
“If you wish to win a man over to your ideas, first make him your friend”.
Abraham Lincoln, first American President, 1809-1865
“Let one who wants to move and convince others, first be convinced and
moved themselves. If a person speaks with genuine earnestness the thoughts,
the emotion and the actual condition of their own heart, others will listen
because we all are knit together by the tie of sympathy”. Thomas Carlyle,
Scottish writer and historian, 1795-1881
“Those that will not hear must be made to feel”. German proverb
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3) YOUTH AMPLIFIED ACTIVITIES: LEARN THROUGH DOING
These activities have all been tried and tested in workshops with schools and
youth groups. They are not lesson plans, but exercises that can be
incorporated into lessons and extra-curricular activities. There is a Staffroom
space on the Youth Amplified site where teachers and youth workers can a)
post messages about how they have used these activities and b) suggest other
exercises and activities.
Each of the following relates primarily to the key capacity under which it is
listed, but it should be understood that most of the activities relate in some
ways to more than one of the capacities. Our methods have been created out
of a collaborative approach of drama and political communications. There are
many other activities that can be done to improve and practice these skills. For
example the use of online videos to review and discuss how other people
speak in public is recommended. You can find some suggestions for such
videos in the links section of this guide (section 5 – page 46).
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3.1 Developing Confidence
Confidence is often thought of as being less a skill than a disposition. Some
people are thought to be ‘naturally’ confident. But in almost all cases, young
people learn such dispositions from watching their parents, neighbours and
friends engaging with the world around them (powerfully, meekly, angrily,
cooperatively, compassionately etc...). Lack of vocal confidence is passed on
from one generation to the next, though usually unintentionally. The aim of the
activities set out in this section is to nurture skills and feelings of confidence
so that young people can believe in the power of their own ideas, and
techniques of vocal projection that will help them to make their views heard by
others. (In fact, all of the key capacities included in Youth Amplified are
related to confidence - which is most likely to arise when young people feel
that they possess the skills and techniques that will enable them to not only
make themselves heard, but feel comfortable in situations when they want to
make a difference.)
Selecting the right methods for working on confidence is not easy. You may
have a wide spectrum of characters in your group and will need to vary the
activities you use in response to different levels of existing confidence. A
‘throw them in and hope they can swim’ approach will not work when it comes
to developing speaking confidence. Rather, it is about helping young people to
take small steps as they cross the bridge from reticence to confidence.
What follows are some simple confidence-building activities that can be used
as a way into more complex speaking situations:
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3.1.1 ACTIVITY 1 – The Letter Game
Objective: to enable participants to feel confident about speaking out in public.
By starting in pairs, it will be easier to shrug off inhibitions.
Instructions: working in pairs - one person says a letter of the alphabet and
the other must say the first thing that comes into their head beginning with
that letter. The idea is to become faster and faster, testing verbal dexterity and
speed of reflex.
After a few minutes, the partners swap positions. The command ‘new word’
can also be introduced which means the person saying the letters can ask
their partner to say another word beginning with the letter they have just said.
3.1.2 ACTIVITY 2 – This Isn’t a Bat
Objective: to encourage participants to share imaginative ideas with others
confidently, while at the same time allowing the rest of the group to interact
vocally and project their voices so that they are the ones heard giving the
answer.
(This activity can be used to spot the less vocally confident participants and
encourage them to speak up).
Instructions: participants stand in a circle and one of them is given an object
(such as a bat). The object is passed from each person to the person next and
they must say ‘This isn’t a bat’ (or whatever the object is) and then complete
the sentence by miming what their chosen object is. For example, ‘this isn’t a
bat...it’s a surfboard’ would require the person to show the bat being used as a
surfboard (rather than saying ‘surfboard’ out loud). The other participants in
the circle must guess what the object is. And then the next person takes over.
19
3.1.3 ACTIVITY 3 – Anyone Who…
Objective: to encourage the group to share and compare ideas. As it develops,
it will also help to uncover some of the participants’ views and disagreements.
These could provide a basis for more conventional discussion and debates
after the game has finished.
Instructions: participants sit in a circle of chairs, but there must only be
enough chairs for one less than the group. The remaining person stands in the
middle of the circle. This person then says a sentence beginning with the
words ‘anyone who …’ For example, ‘anyone who has brown hair’ (the
statement must be true them). All those who have brown hair must move from
where they are sat, either swapping with someone else or ending up as the
remaining person without a chair who stands in the middle. That person will
then have to say the next sentence.
This activity can be refined by introducing themes for the sentences, such as
appearance (hair colour, height, wearing certain clothes) or likes and dislikes
(Eastenders, Coronation Street, Manchester United, marmite) or views (agree
with hunting, school uniforms, capital punishment or a particular war). Topics
can be introduced by the facilitator to fit in with the curriculum (e.g. issues
related to the environment or human rights) but it is recommended that the
young people are first given a chance to steer the activity in the way they want
it to go.
3.1.4 ACTIVITY 4 – Body Tap
Objective: to loosen up the group. It raises energy levels, leaving participants
feeling less conscious of big movements that might follow.
Instructions: participants stand in a circle and tap their heads, shoulders,
knees and toes, 16 times each. They then repeat this process but decrease the
amount of taps by half each time (16, 8, 4, 2 and 1).
An extension of this activity involves asking participants to form a tighter circle
where they can repeat the exercise, but this time tap the people on either side
of them rather than themselves. Participants often find this amusing – and it
certainly will help them to feel relaxed and confident with one another.
Tip: if there is a concern about physical contact amongst the group it is
recommended the extension is removed.
20
3.1.5 ACTIVITY 5 – Zip, Zap, Boing!
Objective: to sharpen participants’ concentration and encourage them to feel
more relaxed within a group
Instructions: participants stand in a circle. They will only need three words to
do this activity; zip, zap and boing. Zip requires a participant to turn to the
person next to them in the circle (choose one direction at the beginning), point
at them and say ‘zip’. Zap allows the participant to point across the circle and
say ‘zap’, passing the control to the person they point to. Boing allows a
participant to reverse the movement by putting their arms in the air and
exclaiming boing at the person that has just said zip to them.
A round finishes when someone makes a mistake and is out of the game.
There are an unlimited amount of zips and zaps but each participant can only
say boing twice per round.
3.1.6 ACTIVITY 6 – Confidence Challenge
Objective: to open up a discussion about what it means to be confident and
how speaking confidence can be developed.
Instructions: go to Imaan’s story on the Youth Amplified website. She speaks in
her own words about a challenge that she faced that required a boost to her
confidence. This can be shown and discussed.
Insert your comments in the space provided below the video, teachers and
youth workers can login to activate this function and note down all the ideas
that participants come up with in response to Imaan’s challenge (this may be
advice or tales of similar experiences and how they overcame the difficulties).
All comments input by groups are publically visible in a live feed down the
right hand side of the screen. This is where your comments will appear and
how you can compare your group’s responses with those put up on the site by
others. You can then click on ‘video responses’ just below this feed to view part
2 of the video which shows the ideas of other young people.
21
3.2 Voice projection
Once young people have tackled these basic confidence-building activities, it’s
time to move on to exploring ways of projecting the voice. It’s worth showing
how young people on the Youth Amplified website have chosen to define this
term.
The term projection can sometimes be misunderstood as referring simply to a
speaker’s volume. But, as every group leader knows, shouting is not effective
projection. There are several elements of projection, including tone (your
choice of inflections, the intensity in which you say something), tempo (the
speed of delivery and where pauses are taken) and body language (the use of
gestures, posture and eye contact as forms of non-verbal communication).
The next activity is designed to help young people think about all of these
elements and their overall balance within speaking.
3.2.1 ACTIVITY 7 – Tongue Talk
Objective: to warm up participants’ voices and exercise the muscles used for
speaking.
Instructions: participants say the days of the week and the months of the year
while sticking out their tongues.
3.2.2 ACTIVITY 8 – Face Rub
Objective: to loosen the muscles used for speaking.
Instructions: participants use their fingers to make circular motions on the
cheeks of their faces, both clockwise and anti-clockwise. This should last no
longer than a couple of minutes.
22
3.2.3 ACTIVITY 9 – Buzz
Objective: to help participants learn to breathe correctly and maintain breath
control when trying to project their voices.
Instructions: everyone inhales and then exhales, making a ‘shhh’ noise as they
exhale. They must try to hit the wall in front of them with the noise they make.
This is then changed to a ‘buzz’, where the participants should be able to feel
the vibrations in their chest if they are projecting correctly.
As an extended activity, a sentence (such as ‘I am making myself heard’) is
added on to the ‘buzz’, showing how breathing can help to regulate the flow of
speech.
3.2.4 ACTIVITY 10 – Role Projections
Objective: to understand the importance of tone, pitch and inflection in public
communication.
Instructions: participants are given roles, such as a market stall holder, a
police officer directing traffic or a bus conductor. They must devise a couple of
short sentences, using familiar rhythms associated with these roles and use
the same techniques as in ‘Buzz’ (Activity 10).
3.2.5 ACTIVITY 11 – Pass the Impulse
Objective: to let young people play with tone as an independent component,
separate from words. There are no right or wrong answers – it’s up to the
group to make their own sense of what they are hearing.
Instructions: standing in a circle, a sound is passed from one person to the
next, who must repeat the sound and describe what kind of impulse the sound
evokes; for example, anger, kindness, arrogance, friendliness, jealousy,
frustration, effort, sadness. Once the whole group agrees on what the sound
evokes, a new sound is passed to the next person. This continues until the
circle is complete. Long pauses should be avoided to maintain the rhythm of
the impulse.
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3.2.6 ACTIVITY 12 – Cup of Tea?
Objective: an ‘icebreaker’, intended to allow participants to speak out in public
using a variety of inflections and voices.
Instructions: standing in a circle participants have to throw a ball from one to
another saying, in as many different ways as possible, ‘Want a cup of tea?’
Each time the ball is thrown to someone they must reply by saying, in as many
different ways as possible ‘Yes – let’s go to the café’. (Of course, any other two
phrases could be used).
As an extended activity, multiple balls can be added to the circle, thereby
preventing any one person being in the spotlight at a time. (This might
increase the engagement of initially nervous or conscious groups).
3.2.7 ACTIVITY 13 – Speaking by Numbers
Objective: to encourage participants to discuss the advantages and
disadvantages of the different levels of intensity and to consider how different
kinds of volume, tone, tempo and body language produce different effects.
Instructions: participants are given an extract to read. (In our workshops, we
used an adapted speech from the film, Network (1976) – see Appendix A. You
can use any speech, as long as it’s easy to read and full of expression). To
begin the activity, participants are encouraged to read and interpret the extract
– and then to start saying it out loud. It’s a good idea to ask them to move
around the room as they’re reading it out, so that no single voice can be picked
out and each person becomes less conscious of those around them.
After a while, a number scale is introduced. 1 = almost asleep; 5 = speaking to
a friend; 10 = shouting from the rooftops. As they read out the extract, the
facilitator calls out numbers and they must vary the intensity of their
projection. If you notice that some people are doing really well at this activity,
single them out and let them show the others how they vary their projection
across the scale. Or give out random numbers on the scale on pieces of paper,
invite participants to speak in accordance with the number they’ve been given
and see if the rest of the group can guess the number.
24
A possible extension of this activity might be to invite the participants to rank
the speeches they are listening to in terms of status or authority. For example,
a speech given at number 9 on the scale may be less authoritative than a more
measured one at number 6. This opens up discussion about the association
between vocal delivery and cultural perception. (How do various ways of
speaking produce particular effects?) You might ask your class or youth group
which number on the scale would be most effective for giving a talk in a school
assembly or debating with an election candidate on a busy street or trying to
get a group of friends to join you in doing something for Comic Relief.
3.2.8 ACTIVITY 14 – Projection Challenge
Objective: to open up a discussion about what projection means and how it can
be developed.
Instructions: go to Ocean’s story on the Youth Amplified website. She speaks in
her own words about a challenge that he faced that required her to have good
projection. This can be shown and discussed.
Insert your comments in the space provided below the video, teachers and
youth workers can login to activate this function and note down all the ideas
that participants come up with in response to Ocean’s challenge (this may be
advice or tales of similar experiences and how they overcame the difficulties).
All comments input by groups are publically visible in a live feed down the
right hand side of the screen. This is where your comments will appear and
how you can compare your group’s responses with those put up on the site by
others. You can then click on ‘video responses’ just below this feed to view part
2 of the video which shows the ideas of other young people.
25
3.3 Developing an Argument
Confidence and clear projection without a good argument to state is just as
unsatisfactory as having a good argument, but lacking confidence or
projection. Learning to form and develop arguments involves both logic (what
can be shown to make sense) and passion (what feels right); seeking evidence
from books and drawing upon personal experience; deciding what needs to be
said to make a point and arranging the points in their most effective order. The
first principle of argumentation is to know your own position and justify to
yourself why you have taken it.
3.3.1 ACTIVITY 15 – The Scale Game
Objective: to encourage participants to think critically about issues and to
realise that it’s possible to be more or less in favour or against a proposition.
Opinions don’t have to be black and white. A key value of this activity is the
discussion that follows, as participants justify their particular positions. This
will help to unravel their opinions and is a good place to start when focusing
on how they may structure their arguments. In the extended activity,
participants learn to consider perspectives that are not their own.
Instructions: numbers from 1 to 10 are placed along the back wall of the room,
number 1 representing ‘strongly agree’ and number 10 representing ‘strongly
disagree’. The participants are then given statements and must position
themselves on the scale according to their opinion. Example statements might
be 1) The X-Factor is a great show, 2) It is wrong to buy chicken that’s not free
range, 3. The police should be armed, 4. It’s OK to test on animals.
Once everyone is next to the number of their choice, the facilitator asks
selected participants to explain why they have chosen this position on the
spectrum.
26
As an extended activity, the facilitator may assign roles to participants, who
have to make a judgement, with that role in mind. As an example, using the
statement ‘It’s OK to test on animals’, participants are given roles, such as
cosmetic manufacturers, animal rights activists, or a parent of a child in need
of a medical breakthrough, which may alter where they wish to stand on the
scale and the justifications they give.
3.3.2 ACTIVITY 16 – Moving Positions
Objective: to encourage participants to state their own position, argue in favour
of it and try to persuade others to move positions – while considering whether
to move themselves. Participants will learn about different ways of forming a
persuasive argument.
Instructions: this is similar to The Scale Game (Activity 14), but requires no
numbers. Participants consider a statement that divides their opinion. One end
of the room represents ‘Agree’, the other ‘Disagree’ and the middle ‘Unsure’.
The participants then place themselves on the scale according to their opinion.
Those at each end of the scale are given the opportunity to persuade people
over to their side. The people in the middle are rather like swing voters in an
election, so they will tend to be the main targets. But that is not to say that
those at the opposite ends will not end up swapping sides if the arguments
presented to them are particularly compelling.
3.3.3 ACTIVITY 17 – Argumentation Challenge
Objective: to open up a discussion about what argumentation means and how
it can be developed.
Instructions: go to Conor’s story on the Youth Amplified website. He speaks in
his own words about a challenge that he faced that required him to create
strong arguments on the spot. This can be shown and discussed.
Insert your comments in the space provided below the video, teachers and
youth workers can login to activate this function and note down all the ideas
that participants come up with in response to Conor’s challenge (this may be
advice or tales of similar experiences and how they overcame the difficulties).
All comments input by groups are publically visible in a live feed down the
right hand side of the screen. This is where your comments will appear and
how you can compare your group’s responses with those put up on the site by
others. You can then click on ‘video responses’ just below this feed to view part
2 of the video which shows the ideas of other young people.
27
3.4 Being persuasive
Persuasion involves influencing the way that someone else thinks about an
issue. For Aristotle, a most important principle of rhetoric was ‘discovering the
best available means of persuasion’. Being persuasive involves putting
yourself in someone else’s position and trying to work out what it would take to
move yourself away from a strongly-held belief, preference or interest.
Persuasion is not the same as manipulation, which involves changing
someone else’s thought or behaviour without them knowing it. The most
effective persuasion involves an honest and direct appeal to see things a
different way.
3.4.1 ACTIVITY 18 – You’re Hired
Objective: to help participants form strong arguments in defence of their own
positions and to think creatively about how best to persuade others to accept
them.
Instructions: The group is invited to imagine that they are applying for a job.
The local community is short of money but has enough to appoint just one
person who will make major improvements to the local area.
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Participants are put into groups of 5 and take in it turns to stand in front of the
class. Each of the group members is given an occupation that they represent.
They must consider all the arguments for why they and their occupation
should be successful in the appointment rather than the others. Example
occupations might be doctor, street musician, florist, politician, shopkeeper
etc...
Members of the audience ask questions and make their own comments and
then vote to decide who is hired.
3.4.2 ACTIVITY 19 – The Election
Objective: to encourage participants to think carefully not only about what they
want to express as their ‘party position’, but how best to communicate it
persuasively.
Instructions: in groups of 5 or 6, participants must devise their own political
party. They must come up with a name, logo and slogan to represent them and
up to 6 policies that they would like to campaign for. They elect one group
member to be the party leader and, if they wish, they can choose other roles
for other members of the group, such as Minister of Defence or Spin Doctor.
Each group must present its policies, slogan and logo to the audience. In order
to persuade the audience to vote for their party, the group must consider all
aspects of their performance, such as the style, tone, volume and
arrangement of their presentation.
After each speech audience members can ask questions. Once each party has
presented and answered questions, a blind vote is taken to decide which party
is elected.
Tip: A formal setting is recommended for the delivery of the speeches (e.g. a
lectern and seating area); this helps to create an air of gravity around this
activity.
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3.4.3 ACTIVITY 20 – Persuasion Challenge
Objective: to open up a discussion about what it means to be persuasive and
how it can be developed.
Instructions: go to Macaulay’s story on the Youth Amplified website. He speaks
in his own words about a challenge that he faced that required him to
persuade others to agree with his idea. This can be shown and discussed.
Insert your comments in the space provided below the video, teachers and
youth workers can login to activate this function and note down all the ideas
that participants come up with in response to Macaulay’s challenge (this may
be advice or tales of similar experiences and how they overcame the
difficulties). All comments input by groups are publically visible in a live feed
down the right hand side of the screen. This is where your comments will
appear and how you can compare your group’s responses with those put up on
the site by others. You can then click on ‘video responses’ just below this feed
to view part 2 of the video which shows the ideas of other young people.
30
3.5 Taking Listening Seriously
Young people are often told to listen to instructions and told off when they fail
to pay attention. Listening can come to feel like a passive act. But listening is
far more sophisticated than merely registering noise or hearing a one-way
message. Listening is active: it involves not only hearing, but reflecting
critically upon what others are saying. All speech is, in one way or another, a
response to previous listening. Being a good listener is valuable because it
helps you to consider things you might not have thought of and you can then
use what you hear to inform, confirm or reject your own ideas and attitudes.
Even when you disagree entirely with what you hear, it is of value in helping
you to form your own, perhaps quite different, point of view. When you speak, it
pays to watch others listening to you, as they are probably offering you
valuable feedback, not least through their body language. Being an effective
listener is often about being a successful adaptor: if you sense that a forceful
approach is making people feel threatened, you can tone it down; if a soft
performance is sending people to sleep, you can add more passion.
3.5.1 ACTIVITY 21 – Band Leader
Objective: to heighten participant’s senses to one another. They must become
more observant and responsive to other people’s movements, constantly
listening to the body language and noises of their peers.
Instructions: participants stand in a circle. One person is named as the
‘detective’ and must leave the room. The remaining people must then choose a
‘band leader’. The person given this role leads a rhythm that the others follow,
changing it as many times as they want. The detective then comes back in the
room and tries to work out who the ‘band leader’ might be. They are given
three guesses.
Example rhythms: hand clapping, feet stomping, arm waving etc...
(You can add another band leader to make it harder).
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3.5.2 ACTIVITY 22 – I Accuse...
Objective: to help participants to focus on where they are (physically and
socially) and what others are saying to them.
Instructions: participants sit down in a circle of chairs which are numbered
from 1 to the amount of people in the group, consecutively. Seat number 1 is
the best possible chair to sit on as it holds the most status. The highest
number chair is the one that no one wants to sit on as it holds the lowest
status. The aim is to get to seat number 1.
The person sitting at chair number 1 begins each round by standing up and
saying ‘I accuse number [insert number]’. The person they accuse must then
stand up and accuse another number. This continues until someone makes a
mistake. Mistakes can include hesitating, saying the number that accused you
or saying the number of the chairs on either side of you. When a person makes
a mistake they must go and sit on the highest number chair and everyone
preceding that person moves up a chair, filling the gap and making room for
them at the bottom of the pecking order.
(To improve participants’ projection, the facilitator can become stricter about
what counts as a mistake; for example, if the accusation is made too quietly or
without enthusiasm that can also count as a mistake).
3.5.3 ACTIVITY 23 – Listening Challenge
Objective: to open up a discussion about what it means to be a good listener
and how it can be developed.
Instructions: go to Ocean’s story on the Youth Amplified website. She speaks in
her own words about a challenge that made her feel extremely uncomfortable
and misrepresented. This can be shown and discussed with the sound on
mute.
Without listening to the audio, what kind of story do the group think she is
telling? Is she sad, happy, frustrated etc...
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3.6 Learning to Negotiate
Negotiation is a concept that young people can easily misunderstand. There is
a common assumption that compromise involves weakening your position and
reaching an outcome with which you are unhappy. This leads some people to
become stubborn negotiators, forever focusing on their skills of persuasion.
Persuasion is one aspect of negotiation, but there are other skills involved as
well. Effective negotiating is about identifying and prioritising the most
important features or values in a trade-off: deciding what you are prepared to
surrender or minimise for the sake of achieving a key part of what you want.
For instance, if a young person wants to go to a party, their main priority might
simply be to attend. The time they have to leave might be less important and
therefore open to a negotiated compromise. Young people are exposed to
situations that require this ability all the time, whether it is deciding who gets
to sit where in the class, what film they are going to watch at the cinema or
what shifts they want to do in their Saturday job.
3.6.1 ACTIVITY 24 – Negotiation Scenarios
Objective: to encourage participants to frame negotiation according to their
own experience; to simulate various ways in which the negotiation might
develop and reflect upon how different people have different effects upon a
negotiating situation.
Instructions: participants are asked to think of examples of negotiation
situations they have come across or been involved in. This is a very open
discussion designed to come up with examples that can then be acted out by
the group. Providing examples for them is less effective as it is hard for
participants to recognise their real life significance.
Once an example is chosen, participants act it out and demonstrate the
techniques that they think would be most effective. Each participant must
enter the negotiation, having chosen an aspect that they want most and the
aspects they are more flexible on.
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The rest of the group can shout ‘freeze’ at any point to tag in to the scene and
replace one of the characters to try a different approach.
3.6.2 ACTIVITY 25 – Park Bench
Objective: to explore the variety of ways in which a single dilemma can be
negotiated.
Instructions: a bench (or three chairs lined up next to one another) is placed at
the front of the room. One participant sits on the bench and volunteers from
the group must try to move them from it without any physical contact. This can
begin as simply as pretending to have an irritating, infectious cough, but as the
exercise progresses the facilitator can encourage more sophisticated
negotiations rather than deterrents.
3.6.3 ACTIVITY 26 – Creating a Partnership
Objective: to combine strong argumentation with negotiation skills.
Instructions: everyone is invited to imagine that there is a £1000 grant up for
grabs for two people who prove that they have a worthwhile partnership and
could collaborate effectively.
Participants are put into groups of 3 and each participant is assigned a
different occupation. They must consider all the strengths and skills that their
occupation has to offer and the potential downfalls that others may pick up on
(preparing counter-arguments accordingly).
To acquire the £1000, participants must negotiate an alliance within their
group, leaving one person behind.
3.6.4 ACTIVITY 27 – Negotiation Challenge
Objective: to open up a discussion about what negotiation means and how it
can be developed.
Instructions: go to Emily’s story on the Youth Amplified website. She speaks in
his own words about a challenge that she faced that required her to negotiate
with her father. This can be shown and discussed.
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Insert your comments in the space provided below the video, teachers and
youth workers can login to activate this function and note down all the ideas
that participants come up with in response to Emily’s challenge (this may be
advice or tales of similar experiences and how they overcame the difficulties).
All comments input by groups are publically visible in a live feed down the
right hand side of the screen. This is where your comments will appear and
how you can compare your group’s responses with those put up on the site by
others. You can then click on ‘View video responses’ just below this feed to
view part 2 of the video which shows the ideas of other young people.
35
4) ASSESSMENT: IDEAS FOR ASSESSING PROGRESS
Evaluating young people’s progress in this area is bound to be difficult. Kate
Brown and Stephen Fairbrass point out in the Citizenship Teachers’ Handbook
that ‘as teachers of Citizenship we need to consider why we assess, what we
assess and how we assess’.
4.1 Why assess young people’s ability to speak in public?
Because it is a way of monitoring, and offering feedback upon, learning. As
such, assessment needs to be built in to the learning process, not added on
afterwards. Assessment should be continuous and consultative, involving the
young people being assessed at every stage. Deborah Jones, in a chapter on
‘Speaking and Listening: Planning and Assessment’ in Unlocking Speaking
and Listening (2006) makes some important points about the nature of
assessment:
… planning, teaching, learning and assessing are parts of a cycle. All
elements are interdependent, therefore it is vital that teachers have observed
and assessed children’s speaking and listening development in order to plan
for progression. It is important that planning for teaching and planning for
assessment should happen together.
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4.2 What should be assessed?
We can immediately rule out a number of objects for assessment: it is not
about how well young people are able to recite set speeches or extracts; it is
not about formal oratory; it is not about judging whether a young person
speaks ‘properly’ (i.e. according to norms of Received Pronunciation); and it is
not about determining whether a person states ‘good’ or ‘bad’ views. The most
useful form of assessment for speaking in public evaluates progress in
relation to the 6 key capacities identified above. By evaluating development of
each of these capacities, progress towards exercising voice in public situations
can be plotted.
4.3 How to assess
How to assess the six civic capacities is the most complicated challenge of all.
As assessment is primarily about charting progress, it is important to conduct
regular checks on an individual’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to
each key capacity. These checks can be conducted in three ways: by teachers
and youth workers, observing from a position of pedagogical expertise; by
individuals themselves, reflecting on their own progress; and by members of a
peer group, offering their constructive reflections and receiving reciprocal
assessment in return. The three charts below are based on these three
methods respectively. All three could be used at the same time, allowing a
person to maintain their own longitudinal assessment, as well as having a
record of expert and peer feedback.
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4.4 Teacher/youth worker assessment
CAPACITY
CONFIDENCE
PROJECTION
NEGOTIATION
Is able to participate
in tasks that involve
speaking in front of
other people
Is aware of the main
ways of projecting
voice (volume, tone,
tempo)
Is aware of the
difference between
compromise and
surrender
Is able to speak in
public on a given
subject
Is able to interject
and put points in a
discussion
Uses body as well
as voice to make
points
Is able to vary
volume, tone and
tempo appropriately
when speaking in
public
Is able to identify
and articulate
priorities in a
negotiation situation
Supports vocal
speech by
appropriate nonverbal
communication
Is able to negotiate
calmly and
reasonably
Can participate as
an equal in
discussions
38
Is able to resist
verbal manipulation
and controlling
persuasion
Is able to reflect
critically about their
own speaking in
public
Is able to address a
number of people
and be understood
well
Is able to negotiate
with an awareness
of the balance
between entitlement
and responsibility
LISTENING
Is aware of the value Incorporates what
of listening to others they have heard into
what they say
Is aware of what it
ARGUMENTATION means to form an
argument
PERSUASION
Is aware of the
importance of using
words and phrases
persuasively
Is capable of
‘reading’ the
responses of others
as they speak
Is capable of
Is capable of
forming an
arranging points in
argument on a given an effective order
subject
Is able to identify
persuasive verbal
strategies adopted
by others
Is able to develop
and use persuasive
verbal strategies
39
Is able to reflect on
new ideas and
information gained
from listening to
others
Is capable of
adapting their
argument to meet
new information or
arguments
Is able to distinguish
between
manipulation and
persuasion
Is recognised by
others as a good
listener
Is able to state an
argument verbally,
without resorting to
much (or any)
written material
Knows when – and
how - they have
succeeded in being
persuasive
4.5 Self-assessment
(to be completed by the young person at regular intervals) – supported by Youth Amplified quiz, available at
www.youthamplified.com/quiz.
The quiz on the Youth Amplified site can be used a starter, providing young people with some instant feedback on strengths to build
upon and areas to develop. It is hardly a scientifically accurate assessment tool, but it might help begin a discussion about how to
build upon existing competencies.
CAPACITY
CONFIDENCE
PROJECTION
I can participate in
tasks that involve
speaking in front of
other people
I can speak in
public on a given
subject
I can interject and
put points in during
discussion
I use my body as
well as my voice to
make points
I am aware of the
main ways of
projecting my voice
(volume, tone,
tempo)
I am able to vary my
volume, tone and
tempo
appropriately when
speaking in public
When speaking, I
use non-verbal
communication to
support what I’m
saying
I can participate as
an equal in
discussions
40
I am able to reflect
critically about my
performance after I
have spoken in
public
I am able to
address a number
of people and be
understood well
NEGOTIATION
LISTENING
ARGUMENTATION
PERSUASION
I am aware of the
difference between
compromise and
surrender
I am able to identify
and articulate my
priorities in a
negotiation
situation
I am able to
negotiate calmly
and reasonably
I am able to resist
verbal manipulation
and controlling
persuasion
I am aware of the
value of listening to
others
When I speak in
public, I incorporate
what I have heard
into what I then say
I am capable of
‘reading’ the
responses of others
as I speak
I am aware of what
it means to form an
argument
I am capable of
forming an
argument on a
given subject
I am capable of
arranging points in
an effective order
I am able to reflect
on new ideas and
information gained
from listening to
others
I am capable of
adapting my
argument to meet
new information or
arguments
I am aware of the
importance of using
words and phrases
persuasively
I am able to identify
persuasive verbal
strategies adopted
by others
41
I am able to
negotiate with an
awareness of the
balance between
entitlement and
responsibility
I am recognised by
others as a good
listener
I am able to state
an argument
verbally, without
resorting to much
(or any) written
material
I am able to develop I am able to
I know when – and
and use persuasive distinguish between how - I have
verbal strategies
manipulation and
succeeded in being
persuasion
persuasive
4.6 Peer-assessment (to be completed by one or several members of a learning peer group at regular intervals)
CAPACITY
CONFIDENCE
PROJECTION
NEGOTIATION
X can participate in
tasks that involve
speaking in front of
other people
X can speak in
public on a given
subject
X can interject and
put points during
discussion
X is aware of the
main ways of
projecting their
voice (volume, tone,
tempo)
X is aware of the
difference between
compromise and
surrender
X is able to vary
their volume, tone
and tempo
appropriately when
speaking in public
X is able to identify
and articulate their
priorities in a
negotiation situation
When speaking, X
uses non-verbal
communication to
support what they
are saying
X is able to
negotiate calmly
and reasonably
42
X uses their body as X is able to reflect
well as their voice to critically about their
make points
performance after
they have spoken in
public
X participates as an X is able to address
equal in discussions a number of people
and be understood
well
X is able to resist
verbal manipulation
and controlling
persuasion
X is able to
negotiate with an
awareness of the
balance between
entitlement and
responsibility
LISTENING
X is aware of the
value of listening to
others
X is aware of what it
ARGUMENTATION means to form an
argument
PERSUASION
X is aware of the
importance of using
words and phrases
persuasively
When X speaks in
public, they
incorporate what
they have heard into
what they then say
X is capable of
forming an
argument on a given
subject
X is capable of
‘reading’ the
responses of others
as they speak
X is able to identify
persuasive verbal
strategies adopted
by others
X is able to develop
and use persuasive
verbal strategies
X is capable of
arranging points in
an effective order
43
X is able to reflect
on new ideas and
information gained
from listening to
others
X is capable of
adapting my
argument to meet
new information or
arguments
X is able to
distinguish between
manipulation and
persuasion
X is recognised by
others as a good
listener
X is able to state an
argument verbally,
without resorting to
much (or any)
written material
X seems to know
when – and how they have
succeeded in being
persuasive
5) LINKS
British Library Citizenship Resources
http://www.bl.uk/learning/citizenship/citizenshiphome.html
Citizenship Teacher
http://www.citizenshipteacher.co.uk/
Joe Cotton - EMA speech at NUT conference
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-13187600
Phil Davison – Plunderbund Insta-Legend
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTvLiGMMMg0
Democracy Cookbook
http://www.dopolitics.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/70770/NAWCookbook-Booklet-English-Final_28307-20816__E__N__S__W__.pdf
English Speaking Union
http://www.esu.org/
Get On With the Game
http://kids.getonwiththegame.com/teachers-corner/teachers-packs/
Group Discussion Skillsm BBC Bitesize
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english/speaking/groupact.shtml
HeadsUp, Hansard Society
http://www.headsup.org.uk/content/
Life Stuff. Channel 4
http://www.channel4learning.com/learning/microsites/L/lifestuff/teachers/citi
zens/teachers_citizens.html
Moving People, Changing Places
http://www.movingpeoplechangingplaces.org/resources/for-teachers.html
My Money, My Rights
http://www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk/lib_res_pdf/1283.pdf
Barak Obama, A More Perfect Union Speech
44
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0v2Z6IXIpLQ&feature=relmfu
One World Action
http://www.oneworldaction.org/
Presentation Skills, BBC Bitesize
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english/speaking/speakingact.sht
ml
RAX Citizenship Toolkit
http://issuu.com/danrb/docs/raxcitizenshiptoolkit
RSA Animate
http://comment.rsablogs.org.uk/videos/
Speakers’ Corner Trust
http://www.speakerscornertrust.org/library/videos/speaking-out/
Speakers’ Corner Trust, Forum for Debate
http://www.speakerscornertrust.org/forum/
United Nations Association (UNA)
http://www.una.org.uk/
Whole Education
http://www.wholeeducation.org/
Young Citizen’s Passport
http://www.ycponline.co.uk/
Your justice your world
http://yjyw.teachernet.gov.uk/
Zach Wahls Speaks about Family
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMLZO-sObzQ
45
6) APPENDIX
For use with 3.2.7 – Activity 13 – Speaking by Numbers
Network. 1976. Film. Directed by Sydney Lumet. USA : MGM/UA
British re-write by Katie Peate (2011)
I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a
depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. A pound buys
a penny’s worth; banks are going bust; shopkeepers are scared of customers;
scallys are running wild in the street, and there's nobody anywhere who seems
to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe
and our food is unfit to eat. And we sit watching our TVs while some local
broadcaster tells us that today we had fifteen deaths and sixty-three violent
crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be!
We all know things are bad -- worse than bad -- they're crazy.
It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out any more. We
sit in the house, and slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller, and all
we say is, "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my
toaster and my TV and my mobile, and I won't say anything. Just leave us
alone."
46
Well, I'm not going to leave you alone.
I want you to get mad!
I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to write to
your local MP, because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know
what to do about the depression and the inflation and the crime in the street.
All I know is that first, you've got to get mad ... So, I want you to get up now. I
want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and
go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and shout "I'm as mad as
hell and I'm not going to take this anymore".
47

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