The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Teaching How to Tie a Necktie

After spending last week writing essays on how to do a particular task, we are moving on during this very short three-day week to giving oral presentations on the topic. The students used their literacy block time today to finish up their essays and have peers read them to see if there are any steps missing. Tomorrow we will work exclusively on writing the oral presentations, which will be slightly different from the essays. Then students will give the presentations on Wednesday.

To get us started on the oral presentations, I decided to model one for my class. I started by discussing my topic, which was wearing a tie. I explained that there are many ways to tie a necktie and that everyone should know how to, male or female, old or young. I shared some of the different knots I have been learning and showed how to tie some of the simpler ones, like the four-in-hand. Then I told them that I wanted each of them to learn how to tie the full Windsor knot. I pulled out a collection of my ties and passed them out to the students. Then I had them stand (because it is really difficult to tie a tie while sitting down) and took them through the process step by step. Some students got it right away. Others got confused and so I started them back at the beginning. We did this a few times until many felt confident in their new-found ability. Some students wanted me to teach them some of the more complex knots. I told them that I might teach them later, but not today.

Modeling how to do give a how-to speech for my students by giving a how-to speech (again, apologies for the word saturation), gave me a great opportunity to share a personal hobby while also showing students how to pace themselves, to be clear and concise, and how to capture an audience’s attention through an interesting hook. We will review this idea tomorrow before they start writing their speeches and practicing them with classmates. I am looking forward to the presentations on Wednesday!

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