________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 20 . . . . June 6, 2002

cover Speaking Rules! Classroom Games, Exercises, and Activities for Creating Masterful Speakers, Presenters, and Storytellers.

Cathy Miyata.
Markham, ON: Pembroke, 2001.
152 pp., pbk., $18.95.
ISBN 1-55138-132-X.

Subject Heading:
Public speaking.


Review by Gary Evans.

**** /4

As public speaking contests are becoming more prevalent, books such as Speaking Rules! would be very helpful in beginning a program to assist our students in being more confident public speakers. The strategies which are presented are designed to work with students from Grades 4-12.

     The book presents ten focus areas that develop the techniques necessary to speak and listen effectively. The ten areas are: 1) imagining; 2) listening actively; 3) remembering; 4) developing rapport with an audience; 5) using body language; 6) exploring voice; 7) showing composure; 8) interpreting; 9) improvising; and 10) critiquing.

     Each of the ten focus points is covered in a chapter containing several sections. An introduction provides background information, anecdotes and suggestions, as well as a number of techniques and skills related to that particular focus area. A pre-test is shown that will give the teacher an assessment of a class's strengths and weaknesses for each particular focus area. Developmental strategies, such as games intended for a variety of partners and teams, class activities, and partner and small-group exercises to strengthen and develop specific skills and techniques for each focus area, are described in detail. Integrated curriculum extensions of games, activities and exercises in Language Arts, Visual Arts, Drama, Math, Geography, Music and Physical Education are described. Assessment tools are included that mainly assist teachers in finding the strengths and weaknesses of their students. Very useful checklists for each focus area discussed are included at the end of each chapter.

     In the latter section of Speaking Rules! samples of detailed rubrics and reflective evaluations, such as peer and self evaluations, are included so that students can think about and discuss with others their efforts in becoming confident public speakers. In addition, 10 elements of a good story are itemized so that students can choose the best stories to tell in front of an audience, and ideas for writing a speech, using cue cards, and choosing a good story to tell are also given. The author suggests choosing the best time for performances of stories as being directly after recess or a class change. Having four performers before a break is reasonable because the audience needs to be able to listen well to the performers for optimum success.

     Miyata has included five of the best stories that she has found to perform in front of an audience. Professional resources are stated at the end so that further information can be obtained.

Highly recommended.

Gary Evans, a retired teacher, is now an instructor of Social Studies both at the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364