Drawing from the Well

Chapter Six Water as Nourishment
Lesson 1 - Venues for Presentation

Setting the Stage:

It is always rewarding to design, execute and complete good work. At this stage of the Drawing from the Well project students will feel proud of their accomplishments. The best way to maximize their sense of success is to provide additional opportunities for their work to be publicly presented and admired.

Giving students the opportunity to envision, plan, organize and produce a presentation of their work is one of the great outcomes of Drawing from the Well. This lesson offers methods for taking students' work on the road. In the next lesson we will detail the step work for putting on a Community Celebration.


  • Students will be the planners, organizers and implementers of public presentations
  • Students will practice both being in charge of and taking direction from peers
  • Students will experience public presentations, the response from authentic audiences, and the rewards of setting goals and accomplishing them

NM State Standards: Language Arts Benchmark I-C

Materials and Supplies:

  • Access to a phone
  • Writing materials
  • Student projects and oral presentations

The kinds of presentations and their durations will be particular for each class and project.


  1. The components to mounting a public presentation are dependent upon the following factors:
    • The type of project students have produced
    • Availability of space and scheduling
    • Transportation needs and financial support
    • Resources for supplies
    • Coordination with teachers, parents and school schedules
  2. To help determine what venues your students may wish to explore, consider the following list of projects aligned with venues:
    • For audio programs: radio stations, library programs, exhibitions
    • For video programs: community TV stations, public screenings, classrooms (peers, younger students, and/or senior centers)
    • For student publishing of books, magazines (‘zines), calendars, pamphlets, posters and comic books: book signings, other school groups or classes, public readings
    • For websites: Internet pen pals, school presentations
    • For dramatic performances: school groups, senior citizen centers, hospitals, local theaters, businesses, restaurants, community theaters
    • For photographic exhibits: Public places, exhibition spaces, offices, libraries
  3. To maximize the learning experience for students have a student committee make all of the arrangements. When students have to call a business or organization they quickly find their own professionalism. Students get the opportunity to articulate what they are doing, what they need and ask questions to clarify connections. Just like practicing their interview questions prior to interviewing community members, students will need to practice what they will say on the phone to make arrangements.
  4. Have students make lists of tasks to guide them in their arrangements for presentations. When five students went to radio station KTAO, 101.9 fm in Taos, they came up with questions to hand to the radio show host. They had their radio documentaries ready for broadcast and had brought a tape recorder so they could record their own show. When students learn they can have a hand in producing what is asked of them they find a new level of self-empowerment.
  5. If you plan to have students give presentations in other classrooms vary the audiences. See how their presentations have to adapt if they are trying to reach 5th graders versus juniors in high school. Often students are apprehensive to present their work to classes older than themselves. This can be another perceived barrier worth challenging.
  6. Have students work up an evaluation sheet for their audiences. The most useful questions are centered around the following general themes:
    • What did you learn or what stood out for you during this presentation?
    • What questions do you have for the presenters?
    • What suggestions do you have to make this presentation better?
    • Is there something new you learned or noticed?
    • Will you do something differently in your schoolwork/life as a result of seeing/hearing about Drawing from the Well program?
    • Do you have any other comments?
    When students develop their evaluation sheet have them design the questions to be specific to the presentation. For example, rather than say "What did you learn?" ask "What do you now know about health care during the Great Depression that you didn't know before?"
  7. Have students work with their rubrics on oral presentations to either evaluate themselves and/or to incorporate into the evaluation for audience.

Have the students develop and submit the group plan for their responsibilities. This will be helpful to see that all students are contributing equally and can also be used to hold students accountable.