This class has the classics covered

3 Comments 13 March 2012

By Celine Bazzi
Unis Middle School

Sameir Abdulla

“It was all about exposure. It was definitely a great experience,” says Sameir Abdulla, an 8th grade teacher at Unis Middle School.

A little while ago, Pamela Anderson, an 8th grade language arts teacher at Unis Middle School, had assigned all of her students an important task. They were all required to read a classic book, as well as conduct a speech about it. From Oliver Twist to To Kill A Mockingbird, the students had only three minutes to speak — maximum.

“Public speaking is pretty important,” Abdulla said. The students were also required to present their speech in front of a large audience.

Jinan Husein

Jinan Husein, one of Anderson’s many 8th grade students, said, “It was challenging because you had to skim through the whole book and pick out all of the main ideas.”

One part of the assignment that was kind of difficult for some students was the fact that they had to go through their whole entire book — big or small — and pick out anything that was important or necessary to put in their speech note cards.

Trevon Cox

In the end, it all paid off. “Classics are very detailed and adventurous,” Husein added. Trevon Cox, also one of Anderson’s students, added that, “They are extremely descriptive.”

There are lots of people who are extremely shy, while others are not. During this activity, the shy students had the disadvantage and the advantage. “It really took me out of my comfort zone. I don’t usually like talking to large crowds,” said Phillip McCreless

Phillip McCreless

Most students in each class were shockingly shy. Therefore, getting them to actually make a speech and read it to a large class took them out of their comfort zone tremendously, as McCreless said. It was a really fun and great exercise for children who have that kind of personality.

Anderson said classic book “are far more challenging than modern literature. They give you a broad understanding of life in general. They also give you hope when dealing with life situations,” she added. Her students are required to read about one classic book per month — speech or no speech. “I would’ve never considered even picking one up if it wasn’t for Mrs. Anderson. I didn’t even know what a classic book was until now,” Cox said.

Whether it’s a classic, a fantasy, a mystery, a romance, or even fable, books are still, and always will be, just books. It all really depends on the type of person you are and what types of books you like to read. When it comes to giving a speech, it all depends on what type of person you would like to portray: serious, persuasive, angry, sad, or happy. It all depends on what type of speech is given.

You have to give speeches throughout your entire life. Whether it’s a job interview, a wedding, or even a birthday party, you’re still talking to people. That’s really what a speech is all about.” — Mrs. Pamela Anderson

Your Comments

3 Comments so far

  1. Mona Hamade says:

    Great story. You guys are doing a great job.

  2. sonia baydoun 6th hour says:

    this technique does push kids out of their comfort zone but is still a great, challenging way to educate students. this also helps kids with their speech issues and prepares them for the future. mrs. anderson has found an amazing style that teaches kids to assess the the important information in a book and helps find the main idea. i think its a great idea.

  3. April Kincaid says:

    This slideshow was awesome! It had a clear beginning middle and ending. It told a whole story. Viewers will appreciate your details because you leave no questions. I’m happy you joined us this year!

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Unis Middle School

Unis School serves grades K-8 in the Dearborn Public School District. The school principal is Heyam Alcodray. These are its beliefs about education:

  • A student's highest potential includes improvements academically, artistically, emotionally and socially.
  • Student achievement requires a cooperative effort among parents, teachers and the community to provide encouragement and reinforce core values.
  • Good instruction is assessment-driven, outcomes-based, active, and engaging.
  • Effective instruction touches the world of each student providing for different learning styles and needs.
  • Education is a life-long process that prepares students to be successful, contributing citizens in a changing world.

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