Think like a Skink

article by Zoë Disher , photo by Alamy

Learning Intention:

I am learning how to prepare information and images for an engaging and informative spoken presentation so that I can deliver an interesting presentation for a specific audience and purpose.


Success Criteria:

  • I can research and prepare the information required for my presentation
  • I can create a slideshow of visual images to support my presentation
  • I can use appropriate word choices, rhetorical techniques, body language and gestures in my presentation



Essential knowledge:


A series of digital public speaking resources can be found on The Arts Unit website. I have confidence and Speaking styles provide a great introduction to public speaking and give some excellent activities to teach students how to deliver an engaging spoken text. Select some of the activities from these digital resources to use in class while students are preparing their presentations.

For teachers, the Public speaking in primary schools resources is a valuable source of information for teachers wishing to build their students’ confidence with public speaking.


Understanding text:

Read the article as a class.

If you have a digital subscription complete the true/false digital interactive.


As a group discuss and annotate the features of the article. Including the headline and subheadings, photographs, the use of questions to engage the reader and the use of direct address (‘you’) throughout. Ask students to contribute ideas as to why these features are used in a non-fiction text.

(suggested answers: A non fiction text is designed to give true information and so the photographs and the subheadings help readers find and understand the information easily. The direct address and questions draw the reader into the text and make them feel involved, which makes readers more likely to finish reading the article.)


Oral language and communication:


The article ‘Think like a skink’ suggests that an

‘important thing to do to make skinks welcome is to spread the word about lizards in the garden or schoolyard or park, so that everyone can look out for them.’

Give students the following task:

All wildlife in your area could do with some support in spreading the word about how to best keep them safe. Choose a species native to the area in which you live and learn. Conduct some research on your chosen native species and their specific needs. Prepare a spoken presentation in which you will explain to your audience the ways in which people can help keep your chosen native species safe. To accompany your presentation, prepare a slideshow with images to support your ideas.

A sample scaffold:


Talk about the chosen species of animal-describe it and its habitat. It is endangered and why?

Give 3 ways that every day people can help this animal thrive in your local area
Conclusion- give a call to action



Assessment for/as learning:

After completing their presentation, ask students to complete an ‘exit slip’ style reflection. Use the following:


From 1 (not at all) to 5(aced it), how do you feel about your wildlife presentation?






Explain why you feel this way?


What might you do differently next time you deliver a presentation?