Elementary School Speech Tournaments

October Elementary Speech Tournament #1 - Original Oratory

Original Oratory: Students deliver a self-written, 1 - 5 minute speech on a topic of their choosing. Students use evidence, logic and emotional appeals. Topics range widely, and can be informative or persuasive in nature. The speech can be delivered with or without notes.

November Elementary Speech Tournament #2 - Declamation

Declamation: Students bring history to life—literally—by delivering a speech that has been delivered by someone else. From the historical greats to contemporary public orations, students have 1-5 minutes to perform a speech with an introduction. Students may use notes, have a copy of the original speech, and/or memorize the speech. Topics can vary widely based on the interest of the student. The goal of Declamation is for the student to perform another speaker’s message in their own voice.

December Elementary Speech Tournament #3 - Impromptu Speaking

Impromptu is a public speaking event where students have seven minutes to select a topic, brainstorm their ideas, outline and deliver a speech. Speeches can be from 1 to 5 minutes. The speech may be given with notes and uses an introduction, body, and conclusion. The speech can be light-hearted or serious. It can be based upon prompts that range from nursery rhymes, current events, celebrities, organizations, and more. 

January Elementary Speech Tournament #4 - Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational
* Students have 1-5 minutes to deliver a speech about Martin Luther King Jr. using any speech format (Oratory, Declamation, Poetry, Storytelling, Prose, etc)

Oral Interpretation

Using selections from Prose, Poetry and Drama students create a five minute performance around a central theme. Program Oral Interpretation is designed to test a student’s ability to intersplice multiple types of literature into a single, cohesive performance. A manuscript is required and may be used as a prop within the performance if the performer maintains control of the manuscript at all times. Performances can also include an introduction written by the student to contextualize the performance and state the title and the author of each selection. Speeches should be no longer than five minutes long and students may use notes.

 

Poetry

Using a selection or selections of literature, students provide an oral interpretation of poetry. Poetry is characterized by writing that conveys ideas, experiences, and emotions through language and expression. Students may choose traditional poetry, often characterized by rhyme or rhythm, or nontraditional poetry, which often has a rhythmic flow but is not necessarily structured by formal meter (meter is a beat, pattern, or structure, such as iambic pentameter). Speeches should be no longer than five minutes long and students may use notes.

 

Prose

Using a short story, parts of a novel, or other published work of prose, students provide an oral interpretation of a selection of materials. Typically a single piece of literature, prose can be drawn from works of fiction or non-fiction. Prose corresponds to common speech patterns and may combine elements of narration and dialogue. Students may not use poetry, or drama (plays), in this category. This event is seven minutes, including an introduction. Speeches should be no longer than five minutes long and students may use notes.

 

Storytelling

Students select a published story that meets a designated theme. Themes range widely and may include mysteries, heroism, or fairy tales. Students select a story that would be appropriate for young children and tell the story as if presenting to that audience. This event is five minutes. Students may use a chair. Speeches should be no longer than five minutes long and students may use notes.

Original Prose, Poetry, Storytelling and Drama

Students write their own selections from Prose, Poetry and Drama students create a five minute performance around a central theme. Original Prose, Poetry, Storytelling and Drama is designed to test a student’s ability to intersplice multiple types of literature into a single, cohesive performance. A manuscript is required and may be used as a prop within the performance if the performer maintains control of the manuscript at all times. Performances can also include an introduction written by the student to contextualize the performance and state the title and the author of each selection. The speech can be delivered with notes and script.

February Elementary Speech Tournament #5 - Extemporaneous Speaking (Current Events)

Extemp is current events speaking. Students are presented with a choice of three questions related to national and international current events. The student has 30 minutes to prepare a 1-5 minute speech answering the selected question. Students may consult articles and evidence they gather prior to the contest, but may not use the internet during preparation. The speech can be delivered with notes.

March Elementary Speech Tournament #6 - City Speech Championships (Expository/Informative Speaking)

Expository/Informative Speaking: Students author and deliver a five-minute speech on a topic of their choosing. Competitors create the speech to educate the audience on a particular topic. All topics must be informative in nature; the goal is to educate. Advocacy, public policy proposals, and solutions are permitted. Visual aids are permitted, but not required. The speech can be delivered with notes.

April Elementary School Speech Tournament #7 - National Invitational 

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