Students in Mr. Randolph’s sixth grade class delivered their speeches Thursday, Jan 28. The speeches, an annual rite of passage at Country School, 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.
Typically, students present their speeches in an auditorium, in front of a large audience of students, faculty, parents, siblings and grandparents. This year, however, was different due to COVID-19. The students presented in the Dining Hall behind a podium to their classmates only, while other classes and families watched along on Zoom.
“We had to adapt,” said Head of Middle School Kirsten Rosolen. “We wanted to keep the public speaking component of the speech but it just had to be a smaller public this year.”
Mr. Randolph’s students now look forward to lending moral support to their peers in other Grade 6 classes who will present in the upcoming weeks and months.
“The entire process builds upon students’ previous years of work as writers and readers, as well as public speakers,” said Mr. Henry, whose class is in the midst of speech preparation. “It has become a landmark project of the Middle School years and one that many students remember throughout their time at NCCS.”
Here is the full list of topics from Mr. Randolph's class:
Negative Body Image and Girls Cut Amazon Down to Size What You Should Know about Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D) Sport and Trophy Hunting is Barbaric To Tiktok or Not to Tiktok? The Future is Bright with 3D Printing Get a Richer Education by Travelling The Tragedy of Alzheimer’s Disease The Tragedy of Gun Violence in American Stop Buying Apple Products? Gender Inequality in Professional Sports End Homework Now! Let Children Grow with Greater Risk Taking NCCS Should Go to 12th Grade Bringing the Classroom to Broadway