“And the YouTuber of the Year goes to….”
One of my favorite parts of teaching is creating new units for my public speaking students. Each semester, my students vote on the projects they want to work on in my class. A lot of the time, I haven’t even created the unit yet, but I have an idea of how it can look. That is what happened with my “Rant and Rave” unit this month. The students voted on doing a “rant” speech, and I wanted to find a way to keep it real with their teenage lives…I just wasn’t sure how to do it yet.
How It Started
The idea for this unit started when some of my students were talking about the YouTubers Logan Paul vs. KSI. I totally pretended like I knew what they were talking about (and Googled it later), and I found myself watching Logan Paul videos for a little while. Of course, I had heard of him, but I had never watched his videos. I wondered how this guy became so famous. I started thinking about how I could tie in my students’ love of YouTubers with their speech, so I texted my niece, Gabrielle, who is the Brand Director for Ace Content in New York. She has worked with YouTubers in the past, and she taught me how YouTubers become paid by different brand companies. I also learned the term “friendertainment” (when people feel like they are getting their media through a friend), and why that is important as a YouTuber.
Next, I looked up YouTube videos where people are ranting about something that bothers them. I needed exemplar videos to show my students, in order for them to get the right idea. There are some hilarious videos out there (check out the one by Tobuscus about changing your password), and we enjoyed critiquing them together. I also came across a great unit on Teachers Pay Teachers by Room 213. If you are thinking of trying this unit, you definitely need to check it out.
Of course, I also know how much my students love a good competition, so I decided to make this speech a competition to see who would win “YouTuber of the Year.”
I loved this speech unit. It was hysterical to find out what bugs teenagers (bathrooms, parents, teachers, people who write checks at grocery stores, elevators, etc). The students did a great job, and since it was only their second speech, it was fun to see how their skills had improved since their pre-assessment speech. We learned a lot about each other, and laughed…A LOT!
YouTubers of the Year
When the students finished their presentations, each class voted on the “YouTuber of the Year” in their class. Of course that person won a big prize (not), but they did win bragging rights. If you would like to check out some of the student videos, you can click on them here (they have been shared with the student’s permission):
When you start to create a new unit, think of how you can keep it real with your students. What do they talk about with their friends when they think you aren’t listening? How can you tie that topic in with your curriculum? Take a chance. Try something new. You never know, your students might actually surprise you.