Fifth and Sixth Grade Oratory Has People Talking


Speaking before a crowd is not easy. In fact, sometimes it’s even a challenge to answer a question out loud in class. But Middle School students proved that with lots of practice, it is possible to overcome fear and deliver a speech with confidence and poise. At the fifth and sixth grade Oratory Program on March 14, students impressed the audience in the packed Horn Theatre with speeches they memorized or wrote themselves.

Student host Barbara Z. explained, “The fifth grade oratory process began in January when students began their search for the perfect oratory selection. Some students even wrote their own pieces. Students then spent countless hours memorizing their selections, after which they presented them in English class. Today, we will hear a selection of speakers who will showcase their presentation skills.”

The speeches ranged from the serious “Our God is Marching On” by Martin Luther King delivered by Alex P. to the silly “Harris and Me” by Gary Paulsen delivered by Mary C. Other fifth grade speakers included Kailin H., Victoria C., Emily A., Catherine C., Natalie S., and Jacob R. The fifth grade emcees were Ellye A. and Rachel C.

For their oratory, the sixth graders were asked to write an essay that answered the questions, What do you believe in, and why do you believe it? Barbara Z. shared her grade’s experience saying, “Some of us were ready to write about our beliefs immediately, some of us needed a little work to clarify exactly what we were trying to say, and some of us, we later learned, had written beliefs that we did not truly believe in, things we had just heard or read about… And in those cases, we started over, but doesn’t that say something about us, too? We believe it’s okay to scrap what you have and start again from the beginning.”

Emcee Price N. introduced the six sixth grade finalists Nicholas Z., Danile K., Caroline B., Edward M., Bree C., and Mohammad N. who shared a variety of beliefs from “Relating to Other Cultures Will Help You Learn About Them” to “Good Friend, Bad Partner.”


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