Round the Room Speaking Activity


July 25, 2013 by k. liz

I’ve written before about my distaste for speaking lines. Although I know the idea is great, I always struggled to get a beneficial speaking line activity actually going. I have posted other ideas I use, such as stations and numbers with questions on the desks. I still like that idea as well, but I tried a new activity out in class yesterday and it seemed to be really successful, so I decided to share with you all!


Round the Room Speaking

I currently have classes of 14-15 students, so the numbers for this activity are based on that, but of course you can easily adjust for how many students you do have. The nice thing about this activity is it can be used with 6-100 students. (Okay, so actually, 100 students could become very chaotic, but the activity is adaptable!)

  1. Decide on your numbers. Edge groups should be somewhere between 2-4 people. I used 3. Then, the speakers should be either the same or 1 less than the number of edge groups. This means that in my class of 15 I had 4 edge groups of 3 people and 3 speakers. It looked something like this:image
  2. Decide on your content. My students have presentations coming up on Friday, so their speaking content was their introduction for their presentation. The content could be a prompt, a question, a narrative, you name it, but it should be clear. *I think this is one reason that my activity was so successful, the students know for a fact that they will be using this same language on Friday.*
  3. Decide on your time. For control purposes, I would keep the time short. This is a fluency activity, not a content activity. I did one round at 1 minute and one round with 30 seconds. The goal here is following the 4x3x2 activity that I wrote about last week: students will refine content and increase fluency when they practice the same structures with increasingly shortened time limits.

To conduct the activity, students will present their information to an edge group for the allotted time. When the teacher says “CHANGE!” students will move to the next edge group and present the same information/answer/ideas to the second group. The group that has no speaking student will be the feeder group. When a student approaches this group, he/she will sit down and a student from the feeder group will stand up and continue on in the speaker’s place. You will notice, then, that the feeder group will keep moving as students approach. That’s no problem, just make sure that students keep moving around and filling each other’s places. 

The benefits of this activity are:

  • movement
  • fast-pace
  • chaos (meaning that students are willing to speak because only three people are listening to them, not the entire classroom)
  • everyone gets to speak!!

So, what do you think? Will you try this in your classroom? Click “like” if you actually understood the instructions, and send me a pic on instagram if you do it in your classroom!!


2 thoughts on “Round the Room Speaking Activity

  1. Lynn says:

    Cool idea. I have a question though. How do the kids in the three original groups (who aren’t speakers) become speakers? I see that the speakers move around, then fall out of rotation and someone in the feeder group joins in. But eventually the entire feeder group and everyone speaking will have had a turn…when do the kids in the original groups get in on the action?

    • k. liz says:

      Thanks for the question, Lynn! Looking back, I see how I forgot to address this! As students finished speaking in the final group, instead of returning to the feeder group, one of the students who was listening stood up and joined the feeder group. Once all of the students in that group had been cycled through, we moved the final group to the second group (if that makes sense.) So, in short, once you spoke three times, you stayed in a listening group and the last person who hadn’t spoken yet stood up to join the feeder group. So, the speakers should always trade places with a listener when they have finished speaking. It took some finagling to get it right, and for me it was just something to manage in the moment, but it should work out to get everyone speaking!

      Thanks for the comment!

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