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Articulation for the Voice


Students will show their understanding of proper articulation by critiquing a fellow student and nominating a partner for performance.


Materials Needed

  Vowel and Consonant Word List

  Tongue Twisters

Sentences (not included)


Lesson Directions

Project or pass out a list of tongue twisters. Go over why tongue twisters are used as warm-ups. Focus on the way it allows the mouth to get used to using words correctly. Practice focusing on articulation. Read each one with the students out loud and then ask a student to volunteer reading the sentence solo.


Instruction – Project or pass out the word list of vowel sounds. Show just one list of the vowels. Talk to students about how they need to practice the vowel sounds so that they do not say words incorrectly (A good example is the word Aunt which can pronounced as ant or ah-nt). Alarge part of how it is pronounced depends on where you come from and what your background is.  There are some parts of the US where some feel it is 'wrong' to say it like ant because it is simply not pronounced that way, and there are other parts where to say it with an 'ah' sound is pretentious and pompous sounding.  You could even start a discussion on language and origin and familiarity with sounds and such with students – how playing a character from a certain region may require some manipulation of articulation and pronunciation, etc.

Go over the fact that vowels can be used for interpretation by being lengthened, shortened, or inflected. As a class, say the lists of words focusing on correctly saying the vowel sounds.

Put up the consonant sounds and go over the importance of pronouncing the consonant sounds. Go over the lists focusing on saying them correctly.

Go over the common habits of sloppy speech with the students. Students should take notes on this section.
· Mumbling, muttering, or dropping words at the end of sentences and letters at the end of words.
· Using the vocal apparatus, especially the tongue, in a lazy manner, resulting in indistinctness.
· Being too meticulous, artificial, or theatrical.

Modeling – Tell the students that they will have the opportunity to be critics. They will pair up and be given a sentence. They will read to each other the sentence and then the listener will tell the student what they can work on in terms of articulation and pronunciation. They will continue to practice in this way.

Do an example with a student from the class where you read the sentence using one of the common habits of sloppy speech and the student points it out. Thank the student and read the sentence again correctly.

Guided Practice – Let the students get into groups and then appoint them each a sentence. The students will have time to practice.

When the students have had enough time to practice have them go back to their desks. Ask students to nominate their partner if they think they did an excellent job.