Objective and Syllabus

Ms. Costello
Room 203
Planning: 4th hour
Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Class Syllabus
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to speech class! You have, no doubt, heard of fates worse than death.  Well, for many people, there is one that stands above all others: public speaking.  So, I am sure most of you are looking forward to this class as much as, say, a root canal. Well, you may be partly right about the torture, but learning to communicate well and speak with poise is among the most beneficial skills with which you can leave high school. Regardless of which career path you choose, you will have to interact with people.  In fact, to even get a job you will have to go through an interview and you must be able to convince the interviewer(s) that you are the best candidate.
Course Description
Speech is a one-semester course aimed at introducing students to the basic concepts of communication. It aims to make students not only better communicators, but better public speakers. Students will learn how to plan, research, compose, practice and deliver speeches approximately once per week. They will learn about the different types of speeches and will deliver each one. The student will study famous speakers and evaluate their styles of speaking. The students will study the process of communication, which will help them become better learners. Students will study mass media; perform scenes from plays; recite poetry; debate each other; read dramatically, and communicate using every type of communication from verbal through non-verbal.
Speeches are due on the day they are due, as are all assignments. Students should be open to the instructional experience. Students should be respectful of their peers' speeches.
Speeches are graded on presentation only.
*Including dress
*Speeches can be made up during class time, afterschool, or during my planning period.
Course Outline
  1. Introduction Speech: A short “who I am” speech (1-2 minutes) to help break the ice and foster community.  It will be an all-or-nothing grade.  In other words, everyone who presents gets full credit! This includes your self- portrait visual aid.
  2. Interviewing: Students will conduct an interview of a person of their choice (grandparent, sibling, neighbor, teacher). Following a guide, students will write speeches that best represents the person and their experience interviewing them. Find a thesis to focus on. More Information to come.
  3. Silent Movie: Groups of 4: Students will create a short silent-movie scene to demonstrate non-verbal communication.  No vocal utterances (talking or otherwise) or use of text will be permitted.  Therefore, facial expressions, hand gestures, and body movements are required to convey meaning.  Use of a “silent movie soundtrack” (i.e. music without lyrics) is okay.  This assignment may be performed live or video recorded.
  4. Poetry Out Loud: Students will select a piece of poetry or literature (long enough that it takes at least 45 seconds to recite) to memorize and perform for the class.  It will be graded on memorization, poise, and vocal dynamics. More info to come…  
  5. Impromptu: Information to come
  6. Informative Speech:  Information to come
  7. Persuasive Speech: Information to come
  8. Final Paper and Speech: Students will compose a research paper (4 pages minimum) to accompany a 7-10-minute speech. The thesis statement will be submitted by the end of the quarter (October 20th) and must be approved by the teacher.  Students should cite at least 5 reputable sources in MLA format and include multimedia in the presentation.  More info to come.
Class Expectations
If you follow these basic expectations, you WILL succeed:
  1. Respect yourself, your classmates, and the teacher.
  2. Participate.
  3. Be positive.
  4. Be honest.
  5. Be HERE.
  6. Be on time to class.
  7. Try your best every day.
  8. Follow classroom procedures.
Late Assignments
Late Assignments will be regulated with the ICU program.
I understand things happen! Please communicate honestly about your situation, so I can help you succeed.
Assignment- 35%
Speeches- 50%
  • Preparation is everything for conducting an excellent speech
Final Speech- 15%
  • Paper
  • 7-10-minute speech