Next Generation Science Standards

Guest Speakers in the Middle School Classroom

Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:25 PM


I want to have guest speakers next year, but I can't figure out how to make it work in the middle school.  My colleagues don't like to miss instructional time and we don't do interdisciplinary instruction.  I teach four life science classes, from 7:30 am - 11:53 am.  There is a 20-minute lunch in there.  I feel bad to ask a person from the community to stay all day and repeat themselves four times, but that's what it would take for all of my students to hear the presentation.  Otherwise, I thought I could have the presentation in one of my classes, I videotape it and show the presentation to the other three.  However, it just doesn't seem like it would be as great as the in person where they could ask class-specific questions.  Any ideas out there?


Anne Bryant
Anne Bryant
1875 Activity Points

Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:15 PM


I teach 7th grade life science from 8:40a-2:20p and have about 8 guest speakers a year.

I have found that most guest speakers are willing to stay all day and repeat themselves!! I usually provide them with water and lunch/snacks.

I have found that most guest speakers do not provide notes for students to take, so I ask for their PowerPoint before they come in order to create a student handout. My students are much more engaged when they have something to follow and take notes on.

Go for it! Guest speakers enrich the unit and experience!


Kimberly Tangaro
Kimberly Tangaro
1645 Activity Points

Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:21 AM

You have good advice, Kimberly!

This has been my experience too with presenters that they are okay with being there all day.

If the presenter has something published it would be good to have that available for your students. If it is not on their grade level than you can probably find content that was grade appropriate to share before hand too.

I had a retired geologist who did classroom presentations and had activities for students to engage which was at their level. You might want to plan out the day with whoever was presenting.

Anyone else have some suggestions?


Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
41515 Activity Points

Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:42 PM

I think that incorporating guest speakers is a great way for the students to be engaged and also for them to see how the content they are learning can be applied in the "real world." I am currently in a teaching program, and this is something I would like to incorporate into my future classroom. Based on my experiences in middle school, when we had guest speakers that could relate to the grade as a whole for cross-curriculum, we were able to have a class assembly. However, on the smaller scale, we typically received a handout and the speakers were always happy to spend the day to answer our questions and present. Additionally, I have even experienced a group Skype session that was a very influential experience.

Margaret Purtell
Margaret Purtell
20 Activity Points

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