I came up with a very successful speaking assessment that was the child of having forgotten entirely to prepare for my advanced class today.
Groups of four had eight minutes to prepare to introduce themselves as unusual characters–one per person. They were to develop them as a group. They had to be very complete…I gave them an example of being a very tall person, the child of giraffes, whose favorite activity was riding on a hedgehog, who liked unfortunately to listen to country music (couldn’t listen with headphones because his ears are too small). . .I warned them that I would stop them and give them a twist they’d have to add–I thought of the twist while they were talking.
After eight minutes, I stopped them and told them that a crime had been committed. They had to describe the crime and add to their personality profile why they couldn’t possibly have done it.
The stories went on really long, with all the kids paying rapt attention. We had a stolen cake, several murders, and a math teacher’s rom filled up with Russian ginger cookies. Excuses were funny and complete. I had to nix the usual max of one minute per kid but stopped them at about two minutes because we wouldn’t have had time for the whole class.