Lesson Two


Lesson 2: Inflection and Stress

Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students will consider the effect of inflection and stress in the effectiveness of a speaker.  

Resources or Materials Needed:

·         Document Camera

·         Computer with Internet Access

·         Multimedia Projector

·          Pledge Feedback Form

Lesson Objective:

Given a familiar text, students will demonstrate effective use of inflection and stress in an effective and deliberate manner.

Time: One hour


Pre-instructional Strategies

·         Divide students into groups of four or five.

·          Ask students: What does the Pledge of Allegiance really mean?  Do we say it like we mean it?  How does stress and inflection of our voice affect the way it is interpreted?  

·         Students may use dictionary.com to clarify the meaning of words. 

·         Possible responses include: Makes it more meaningful, sounds like different things are more important than others.   

·         The teacher will demonstrate one interpretation. 

Content Presentation:

·         The teacher will demonstrate how to mark the text for stress and inflection using a document camera. 

·         Students will mark their text for stress and inflection and then record the lines using different vocal techniques to listen to the difference 

·         The teacher will assign lines from the pledge to students.

·         Using Audacity students will take single lines from the files of public figures reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. The students will then play the audio file for the class and discuss why it was chosen as an effective reading of the line.


Learner Participation:

·         Students will watch three versions (President Obama found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIyBwkuqF4E, Dwayne Johnson, found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPNZsNJAH1s and Senator Giffrords found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5kSuOA2qR0) of the Pledge and mark inflection and stress on the Pledge Feedback Form.



·         Assess students’ responses on the Pledge Feedback Form

Follow-through Activities:

·         Students will view newscasts and public speeches to assess their effectiveness.