Guest Speaker

Invite an informative guest speaker to class (or ask a student to speak to classmates about an area of expertise). Before the visit, have students plan the questions they will ask; during the visit, encourage students to ask follow-up questions.

Anchor(s)

S&L3: Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Level(s):

Estimated timeframe:

Activity steps

  1. Invite a guest speaker to visit the class and give an informative talk. You could select someone who works in a job or career that students have expressed interest in or someone with knowledge of community resources (for example, a credit union representative to speak about financial literacy topics or a health care professional to speak about local services or health literacy topics). If a guest speaker is unavailable, find a student or colleague who can speak about a personal area of expertise (car maintenance, cooking a particular cuisine, taking and editing digital photos, etc.). To help students build knowledge and gain the most from the speaker’s visit, you may want to introduce students to the speaker’s topic by having them read a relevant article or textbook passage.
  2. Before the speaker’s visit, brainstorm questions as a group. What do students want to know about the topic? You might encourage students to use the 5 Ws or other question stems. Have the group agree on their favorite questions and distribute the questions among students. Encourage students to ask additional follow-up and clarification questions after they hear the speaker. You may also want to review professional/active listening norms and suggest a note-taking strategy.
  3. When the guest speaker arrives, model giving a brief introduction (or let a student do this). Allow students to ask their planned and spontaneous questions. Thank the speaker; hold a brief follow-up discussion to allow students to share what they learned.

Workforce readiness skills


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