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Students Present Personal Narratives in Oratory

Shortly after winter break, fifth and sixth graders were introduced to the Middle School oratory program. Following a series of writing and presentation deadlines. They polished their speeches and worked on improving enunciation and voice quality; expression and feeling; and poise and effectiveness. They also practiced standing still, using eye contact, and speaking with volume and power. In February, students presented their speeches to their English classes, and finalists from each grade were chosen by their teachers to present at the Oratory assembly on Monday, February 27 in the Ceres M. Horn Theatre.

Nine speakers and two emcees took to the stage with confidence to demonstrate their oratory skills in front of an audience of their peers, parents, and fourth graders who will participate in the program next year.

The program began with fifth-grade emcee Kate B. who explained that her grade wrote personal narratives on the Power of Emotion. The four finalists: George M. (Clack, Clack, Splat), Audrey P. (Here I Go), David G. (The Cruise Ship Disaster), and Phil T. (A Moment of Respect) spoke with confidence using eye contact and expression.

The program continued with an explanation of the sixth-grade prompt from the emcee, Nitesh C. “For the sixth-grade oratory program, students compose personal essays about what they believe to be true, based on personal experience," he said. "Sometimes students come upon the truth as a result of tough lessons, and sometimes these truths become evident through deeply satisfying experiences. However they come about, these truths inspire change.”

Then, he guided the audience through the program introducing each eloquent orator and their topic. The sixth-grade speakers were Alysa D. (Dragon-Sized Dread), Indigo O. (How Do You Spell Success?), Josh D. (The Hole), Layla A. (Writing 101), and Ryan S. (The Perils of Not Being Punctual).

At the conclusion of the assembly, the audience was clearly impressed by the performance of the speakers who, for their part, appeared to be both proud and relieved.