Saturday, August 15, 2015


The Unique Speaking Club
Totally Unique Speaking Club

Whatever you call it this club is golden.

I've spending this week looking through all the TUSC roles my students had this last year, adding to them, and re typing everything out.  I think I now have about 30 or so roles.  I have about 23 that I definitely want to include (for some roles students have an option between a couple of things) and for any students that are in my class above 23 I will give the class the option of which of the last 5 or so they want to include (or maybe let those presenters pick between the last 5).

Here is what my current TUSC line up of jobs looks like:

1)  Chairperson
2)  Secretary
3)  Previous Secretary
4)  Time Keeper (I'm still debating on whether this one needs to be included... mostly because the time keeper doesn't really have a speaking role during the meeting and I feel like any student could watch a stop watch for the 3 minute mark and still do their role)
5)  Sports Desk OR News Reporter
6)  Word Explorer
7)  Internet Pick of the Week
8)  Cook
9)  Top 10 List OR demonstrator
10)  Surveyor
11)  Commercial
12)  Movie Critic OR Book Talk
13)  Speech
14)  World Records OR Wacky Animal Facts
15)  Poetry
16)  If You Knew Me
17)  Comedian
18)  Artist Profile OR Hobbies OR Curator
19)  Citizenship Award
20)  Historian OR Where in the World
21)  Impromptu Speech
22)  Speech Evaluator
23)  Audience Evaluator
24)  General Reporter

Math Problem Solver
Photo Analyst
Take the.... (monkey)

Last year we ran our TUSC meetings every Day 1 (on a 6 day schedule) this meant that students always had just over a week to prepare for the next meeting)

The benefits of running T.U.S.C in my classroom were amazing.

My students learned how to speak in front of the classroom for at least 3 minutes.  I had one student that had difficulty reading and would sit with me during TUSC meetings so that I could whisper the words to her that she was stumbling over.  After a few meetings of doing that I had her move to the front of the room and I would help her from my spot.  After a couple more meetings she had confidence to stand at the front of the room without any help.  When she did stumble over a word another student came to the front to help her out.

My students learned how to give and receive constructive criticism.

They learned to listen until it was their time to speak (we did question/comments at the end of each presentation so long as they weren't over their time limit to help with this).  Having them sit in their spots relatively quietly and paying attention for about an hour is HUGE!

They learned how to do good research and to NOT plagiarise.

They learned how to be creative but still following the guidelines (sometimes they really surprised me with how creative they could be!)

They practiced their writing skills.  One of the rules for TUSC was that they would have what they were going to say written out (they could have typed it out later on but they must have had at some point written it out in their TUSC duotangs... this helped with plagiarism too).

They learned responsibility and to get their homework done.  For the first couple of meetings I gave the class LOTS of class time to work on their presentations.  This way I could help them and explain to them what they needed to do.  After a couple of meetings there was always 2 other people that had worked on your role before you and they could either go to them for help or remembered what the previous presenter had done for their job.  After the first couple of meetings my students were getting their TUSC jobs done on their own time at home (for the most part).  To go along with this they also had to come prepared.  If they were not ready for the meeting they had to apologize to the class for not being ready and were sent to the library to complete their role (to present the next school day)

And of course they were improving their presenting skills.  Things like speaking loud and clear enough, being enthusiastic, making eye contact, standing tall, and enunciating different words.

I'm sure there are many other benefits of running the TUSC program.  In this humble teachers opinion it is definitely worth it!

If you are interested in starting your own TUSC meetings in your classroom you can easily find some resources online.  Here are a couple of sites that I used to help me supplement what I already had (with the handouts ready to print if you choose to use them as they are)
TUSC and Handouts
Totally Unique Speaking Club

I would also be happy to share what I've put together for my class this year (assuming I still get a class for this year).  I'm still working on getting everything together (so give me another week or so) but if you are interested in it email me at

What are your favourite TUSC jobs?

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