|Back to Back Issues Page|
[Speaking-Out-Loud March2014] Fun speaking lessons with poetry
March 31, 2014
Welcome to the March Issue of Speaking-Out-Loud write-out-loud.com's newsletter to help you effectively 'talk your walk'.
In this Issue
Pure poetry in motion - The Owl and the Pussycat
How many of you learned a poem as part of your early schooling? If you did, can you recall it now?
Here's a poem to play with - to experiment with. It's fun. Let yourself go - romp in its rhythms, and you'll learn a lot of transferable speaking skills, with a grin on your face.
Edward Lear's delightful nonsense poem The Owl and the Pussycat was first published in a book called Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets in 1871 and has been a favorite with children of all ages ever since.
The poem has been retold in story form, set to music, animated, illustrated, delivered as a chorus piece, and poked and prodded for deeper meaning. While that is elusive, it endures for its endearing, and irresistible rollicking silliness.
After 140 years its resilience is assured. This poem will not break even if you mangle, mumble and blur its words. In fact I encourage you to do your worst with it.
Say it loudly. Say it fast. Say it slow. Hold every second word up. Accentuate the verbs by making them as big as you can. Practice silly accents with it. Make up a "voice" for the owl and another for the pussycat. Say as much as you can on one breath. Exaggerate the chorus lines. Pretend to be a newsreader saying it. And then be a funeral director or a politician begging for votes. Now clap the beat as you say it. In short - have fun!
In the process you'll experience at a direct and physical level the joy, the dance, and fun-filled freedom of words in motion. You'll learn about articulation, vocal variety, pause, breath and the rhythm of language. Say it often enough and you'll have developed skills to apply in other arenas.
Gaining competency in public speaking does not have to be earnest, serious affair!
Get the original (with illustrations) from the Gutenburg press
PS. Teach it to your child, recite it at a gathering, develop it as a chorus piece with a group of friends ...
If you need them here's some tips for reading poems aloud.
"I'll have one of those, two of that and just a little of this one over here."
As a child the "pick and mix" confectionery counters with their sweet jewel-colored treasures packed in gleaming glass jars were shrines of wonder. My sister and I would stand in front of them enthralled, pocket money in hand, caught in an exquisite agony of choice.
Years later web sites have a similar effect. Here's a couple that have claimed my attention lately.
If you find sites of interest you'd like to share post them to our Facebook page.
These are an excellent "on-the-run resource" for busy teachers who need an activity now or want to have something in reserve for the inevitable time when they are asked to step into a class at short notice.
A set of Plain Pack Impromptu Speech Topic Cards contains 98 topics or starters, formatted for printing in a plain, non-nonsense font for easy reading, grouped around a core theme.
See more at Impromptu Speech Topic Cards.
For other impromptu speaking resources -tips and templates - please see How to banish impromptu speaking blues.
If you've got comments, feedback or questions you're most welcome to contact me through my About Me page.
If you liked this issue of Speaking-Out-Loud, please feel free to send it on to any friends or family. The site url to forward so they can subscribe is Speaking-Out-Loud.
Until next time,
|Back to Back Issues Page|