College, elementary students partner for history project

Published 1:24 am Friday, November 4, 2016

Josh Riley practices his speech with Kendall Craig, an LBWCC  freshman from Straughn.

Josh Riley practices his speech with Kendall Craig, an LBWCC freshman from Straughn.

Andalusia Elementary School sixth grade students received a little extra guidance while preparing for today’s Living History presentations.

LBWCC Honors Program students visited and gave students direction.

Sixth grade teacher Nancy Wilson said she contacted LBWCC’s Kristy White hoping her students would enjoy giving sixth graders some tips on their speeches.

“This semester, the students taking the Fundamentals of Oral Communication course for honors credit, participated in a six-week project that culminates this Friday when the sixth grade presents their Living History program on the Court Square,” said White, speech and English teacher and chair of the language, humanities and fine arts division at the college. “Both first and second-year honors students participated in researching, writing, directing and producing an 11-minutes tutorial video called ‘Speech Tips for Living History.’”

White said the video was distributed to the sixth grade teachers in October.

“This week, the LBWCC students listened to the sixth graders practice their speeches and provided tips on how to memorize, how to tell stories, how to use trigger words on note cards, how to channel nervous energy, and how to project their voice,” she said.

White said all of her students volunteered between two and 10 hours for a combined 95 service hours on the project.

“Sometimes students respond better and are more open to suggestions from someone other than their parents and teachers,” Wilson said. “Kristy and her honors students turned into an amazing partnership. The students have taken the one-on-one feedback from her and her students to heart.”

“We learned how to project our voice to be louder for our audience,” said sixth grader Grace Shellhouse. “We also learned that eye contact is everything. If you are looking off into the distance, that distracts the audience.”

Meleah Treadaway agreed that the tips they received from the LBWCC students were helpful.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” she said.

Shakyara McFadden said the students helped her with making eye contact.

“She taught me how to pose,” said Cammeon Franklin. “I’ve got this now.”

Cade Lawson said, “I did not have any trouble with eye contact.”

Trinity Smith appreciated the encouragement.

“They helped by giving me the start of a word (when I couldn’t remember),” she said. “They also gave positive feedback, which encouraged me.”

White said the project was exciting for them to be able to work with the sixth grade.

“Our students were able to serve as mentors, demonstrating their ability to work independently and as a part of a team,” she said. “Their video project allowed them to present their ideas orally, in writing, and through digital media. Each student was required to volunteer two hours, but many chose to do much more.

“I am very proud of their efforts,” White said. “It was a learning experience for us, too. After working with the students all week, we have new ideas for what our video could have covered that might have been more helpful.”

Students who participated from LBWCC include Kenneth Amison, Megan Bass, Zoe Bloodsworth, Cameron Breedlove, Anna Bulger, Jayce Caraway, Peighton Carpenter, Kendall Craig, Chase Gunter, Triston Hilburn, Callie McCann, Noah Rider, Haleigh Ross Thrasher, Hanna Seymour, Winston Sims, Jonathan Smith, Shelby Sullivan, Victoria Thompson, Trent Warrick, Quatashia Wheeler, Tessa Worley, and Todd Wright.

“I got so interested in some of their stories that I had to remind myself to pay attention to the physical aspects of their speech delivery,” said Kendall Craig.

Victoria Thompson said, “It was a pleasure to meet and help young students learn about historical figures while helping them better conduct their speeches.”

The students will show off their hard work this morning at 9:30. They will parade from City Hall to the Court Square, where they will give their speeches.

The community is invited to see what they have learned.

“They are super excited about Living History and I know having the extra support will help this year be an ever bigger success,” Wilson said. “I have already requested that we continue this partnership because it is one in which everyone benefits.”