6th Graders Present Persuasive Speeches

New Canaan Country School sixth grade students delivered their speeches through the winter and spring. An annual rite of passage at Country School, the speeches are part of an emphasis on developing the skills to be confident and competent public speakers and advocates.
Students choose a topic of personal significance and write a two-minute speech focusing on three specific areas of persuasion. They are required to collect and analyze evidence to develop their points and complete several drafts of their speech, ensuring that they follow a thesis statement to its natural conclusion.

When the writing process is completed, students shift attention to the presentation process, learning how movement, body language, gesticulation and tone contribute to a successful public address. At the culminating event, students present their speeches in an auditorium, in front of a large audience of students, faculty, parents, siblings and grandparents. This year, Ms. Gardiner’s and Ms. Kelley’s classes presented using ZOOM conferencing technology.

“The students displayed confidence, vulnerability, passion, grace and excitement,” said Head of Middle School Kirsten Rosolen. “I have always valued this experience in Grade 6 because of the agency and ownership that it allows students to have as they move through the process of picking a topic, shaping their speech, and refining the delivery. Recently, not only have the students accomplished this incredible speech-writing and delivery feat, but also, they rose to the challenge of using a new platform to do it.”
Members of Mr. Randolph’s class and the topics of their speeches included:
Sam Aliapoulios - Support hearing-impaired people
Consuelo Bowman- The US should take in more Syrian refugees
Liam Cannon - NCAA athletes should be paid
Freya Collins- Women’s pants need pockets
Charlotte Cooper - How wearing camouflage shows disrespect to our veterans
Caitlyn Edwards - The need for clean drinking water around the world
Graham Gale - The dangers of vaping
Brett Humphrey - High school and middle school days should start later
Larson Johnson - NHL players should be allowed to play in the Olympics
William Kieske- The dangers of plastic in our seas
Juliet Lannamann - High school and middle school days should start later
Andrew Liebau - Support the democracy movement in Hong Kong
Finn Malkoun - Why people should buy fully electric cars
Hilary Miller - The scourge of Friedreich’s Ataxia
Jack Regan - The lifetime value of sports
Simeran Samra - Women athletes deserve the same pay as men

Members of Mr. Henry’s class and the topics of their speeches included:
Chris Blair - NFL Draft Eligibility 
Drew Burr - Gender pay gap
Ella Charron - Child Abuse  
Caroline Coniglio - The Dangers of Plastic
Hudson Feinberg - Self-advocacy 
Louisa Gosk - Air pollution 
Brooks Harrington - Prevent Animal Testing 
Harry Jellinek - The Importance of the Outdoors 
Isabella Kelley - Horse Abuse 
Katherine Maliakal - Adopting Dogs from Shelters 
Addie McNear - Uighur Muslims in China 
Grady O’Connor - The importance of sports
Matt Silver - The Yulin Festival 
William Teles - The True Cost of Sports 
Jasper van Reesma - Light Pollution 
Blaire Williamson - The Cycle of Illiteracy 
Members of Ms. Gardiner’s class and the topics of their speeches included:
Capone Andrade - School Funding Inequality
Lillian Back - The Importance of Reading
Celia Baliotti - Autism
Jamie Brooks - Multiple Sclerosis 
Julia Coniglio - Food Allergies
Luca Ferran - NCAA Should Pay Athletes
Emily Fonner - The Importance of Adoption
Ellis Frey - ADHD
Jonathan Gavidia - Endangered Species
Jayden Liu - Eliminating Homework
Itzel Llamas - Plastic Pollution
Maddie Maliakal - Dog Abuse
Will McKeown - NCAA Athletes Should Be Paid
Ben Ryan - The Importance of Sleep
Kayla Sanon - We Need to Make Fast Food Healthier
Sasha Valdes - The Impact Single Use Plastics Have on the Environment
Members of Ms. Kelly’s class and the topics of their speeches included:
Thomas Blouin - The effects of COVID-19 on the world of sports
Elizabeth Liebau - The importance of school choice
Christina Charnin - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Dean Calio - Smoking should be illegal in all forms
Dylan Judelson - The NCAA should pay its athletes
Calum McClymont - The dangers of overfishing
Pippa Johnson - The negative effects of bullying
Ryan Pauta - The importance of sleep
Peter Goodyear - NCCS should have more recess
Olivia Spain - The gender pay gap in sports needs to be eliminated
Daley Keogh - The benefits of having a pet
Keeley Strine - We need to raise awareness of the Paralympics
Octavio Calderini - Antibiotic resistant bacteria
Ellie Levinson - The need to increase mental health awareness in schools
Chloe Ableman - The dangers of overtraining in youth sports
Salman Memon - The electoral college should be abolished