Sweaty palms, dry mouth, racing pulse. The symptoms of public speaking – two words that will strike fear in most people’s hearts. Grade 6, 7 and 8 students at Pioneer Middle School faced these fears head-on during their annual Speech Contest, judged by a panel of discerning community members and school division staff.
Taking place in Pioneer’s library, the speech topics were highly varied and included subjects such as the importance of technology, the history of residential schools, fishing, dragons, Henry VIII and carrots. Speeches were judged by the panel with an emphasis on the following criteria: Content & Organization, Delivery, and Achievement of Purpose. The judges were impressed by the students’ research, passion and creativity.
Teacher Melanie Campbell says, “Preparing and delivering a speech teaches students to take pride in a finished project. Students want to do their best when they stand up in front of their peers. Students learn how to organize thoughts and express their ideas. Sometimes, students learn persuasion skills. Students learn how literacy can have an effect on those around them and how literacy can give them an outlet for their emotions and feelings”.
Based on criteria scored by the judges, three winning speeches from each grade were chosen. Witnessing our students conquer a common fear and build confidence in their own abilities helps to create a world where everyone wins!
Photo and article by: Ashley Gaehring