Fifth and Sixth Grade Orators Speak With Confidence

McDonogh’s Oratory Program, which formally begins in Middle School, illustrates that with plenty of practice, it is possible to overcome fear and deliver a speech with confidence and poise. During the fifth and sixth grade Oratory Presentations on Thursday, March 10, students impressed the audience in the packed Horn Theatre with speeches they memorized or wrote themselves.

Student host Delaney T. 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.”

She continued, “Today, we will hear a selection of speakers who will showcase their presentation skills.” Eight fifth graders delivered speeches described as: riveting, dramatic, challenging, and compelling.

For the sixth grade speeches, students started by writing an essay that answered the questions, What do you believe in, and why do you believe it? Delaney T. 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.”

Six sixth grade finalists shared a variety of beliefs ranging from “The importance of sitting down with family for dinner,” to “Words are the most powerful tool we all share,” to “In order to be great at something, you have to simply start.”

Congratulations to the orators who presented and to those in the audience. We look forward to hearing more from you in the future.

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