Title: “Oral Recitation Lesson (ORL)”

By: Krystal Billeck
Edited by: Stephanie Martinez & Heather Miller

Textbook Definition: lesson that makes use of direct instruction and student practice, including reading in chorus, as a means of incorporating fluency into daily reading instruction (Pg.265)

Description of the Lesson: The students orally recite the Gettysburg Address.

When it was Observed: September 26, 2011

Teacher & School: Mrs. Brown (Faith West Academy)

Grade Level: 5th Grade

Objectives of the Lesson: The students will know the Gettysburg Address and enhance their reading fluency.

Materials Needed for the Lesson:
  • Teacher and student copies of the Gettysburg Address

Procedure: Since Mrs. Brown’s fifth grade class was studying the Civil War at the time, they were learning the Gettysburg Address. Mrs. Brown told me that she explained to her class that it is important to learn these documents so that we will always remember what others went through to bring our nation back together and to remember why the American nation was created in the first place.

Mrs. Brown’s class was in the process of memorizing the whole Gettysburg Address. She had assigned each student their own section of the speech to memorize, and they would all recite their part out loud one-by-one in class (they did this daily). One student started the speech with their section; the next would say their part, and so on. After they did this a couple of times, they all read and recited the whole speech orally together about four or five times.

When they were done orally reading and reciting the Gettysburg Address in unison, Mrs. Brown took it one step further. She told her class that if they could recite the whole Gettysburg Address without misplacing or leaving any words out, they would not have to write it out for homework that night. She does this every day to get the students to want to learn it.

Supporting Documents:


My Observations of the Lesson: First of all, I LOVE listening to children orally recite any colonial American document, so this was really exciting for me! Almost every student knew their part, and there were several who were very anxious to say it. When they orally recited the Gettysburg Address in together, they were all in nearly perfect unison. I believe “being in unison” helps the words really sink in.
I liked how Mrs. Brown gave them the option to make an attempt at reciting it orally on their own to opt out of writing the whole speech at home. She has the students write the whole thing out almost every night to help them retain it. Therefore, the students just cannot pass up a chance to get out of doing it again. I admire this strategy, because it motivates the students to take initiative to stand up in front of their peers and “take a whack at it.” It seemed that the students became more willing to make an attempt as more and more students gave it a try.

Benefits of “ORL”: Oral Recitation…
  • allows each student to absorb the information being taught
  • helps students recall the information later
  • keeps students active in the learning process
  • promotes the importance of paying attention & class participation

Drawbacks of “ORL”: I do not believe there are any drawbacks to the Oral Recitation Lesson.