Forensics (Speech/Debate) Syllabus
Teacher: Mr. Cummings
Cell # (559) 327-3153
Using a curriculum that focuses on the speaking and listening skills found in the new common core English-Language Arts standards, students will engage in communication in new ways as they compete with teams from across the city, state, and country. Within the realm of speech and debate you will have the opportunity to engage your mind by writing your own speeches in the platform events, act out your favorite story by performing an interpretative piece, speak your mind on relevant domestic and international issues in the limited prep events, or use your brain power to have a battle of the wits in the world of debate. No matter what interests you, we will find a way to bring out the exceptional speaker in you.
Earning A Grade:
Grades in the forensics class will be based upon three separate areas:
Each area will have separate requirements within them.
Information on the events:
There are three specific areas within Forensics/Speech, they are: Platforms, Interpretations, and Limited Preparation Events. Within each of these areas there are a number of different events; Platforms are created by the student. Interpretations are written by another and performed by the student and Limited Preparation is created by the student, off the top of their head within a limited timeframe. Debate, in any category, is an event that is initially prepared from research and current events, but blends the drama and the extemporaneous speaking. All are welcome to try!
As you are writing your pieces, you must keep a copy of all information used while researching the topic, regardless of whether or not it is quoted material. These must be included in your MLA Works Cited page. Note that any script turned in without proper MLA format will not be allowed to compete.
Original Oratory (O.O.)
An original persuasive speech on a universal social problem. Student’s intent is to arouse a concern and to persuade the reader that there is a significant social ill that must be addressed immediately. The call to action comes from personal,community, state, national and world levels. Some example topics are: “Apathetic Youth,” “Overmedicated Society,” “Ignorance is Bliss” or the “Blame Game.”
Original Advocacy (O.A.)
An original persuasive speech including the identification of a problem and the offer of a clear, concise legislative solution on a national or statewide problem. Examples: “Banning T-Shirt Slogans,” “Ending Tax Exemptions,” “Removal of the Insanity Defense,” or “Destroying the Power of Diplomatic Immunity.”
Original Prose and Poetry (O.P.P)
A memorized acting exercise written and performed by the performer. This event is the culmination of both writing and acting; the student can create any story, one from personal experience, the next movie plot line … literally anything and then tell it to an audience within a ten minute timeline.
An original speech that provides information to, rather than persuading, the audience, it is enhanced by the ability to use visual aids as well. These speeches describe, clarify, illustrate, or define an object, idea, concept, or process. Examples: “Pez Dispensers,” “Cannibalism,” “Money,” “Time,” “Trash,” “Left-Handed People,” or “Kissing.”
Once you have chosen your script, you must provide two copies for the coach. The first copy is to be left completely blank; however, you must attach your introduction. On the second copy, you must highlight all spoken words (no stage directions, no character cues, etc.) as well at attach a highlighted introduction.
DUO Interpretation (DUO)
A ten- minute memorized acting exercise performed by two students, from a play, novel, or any piece of literature. The event presents a single selection where each student may present one or more characters. There is no eye contact or touching allowed for any reason during the performance. Examples: “My Sisters Keeper,” “Dud Wars,” or “Tundra Games.”
Humorous Interpretation (H.I.)
A ten- minute memorized presentation of a comic or entertaining selection of literature conveyed through character voices, movement, and facial expressions presented by the student. Author’s intent may be manipulated within reason. The purpose is to make people laugh. Examples: “Snow Sort of White,” “Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss,” “I Hate My Sister,” or “No More Mr. Funny Guy.”
Dramatic Interpretation (D.I.)
A ten- minute memorized presentation of a serious or contemplative selection of literature conveyed through character voices, movement, and facial expressions from the student.
Examples: “The Skin Game,” “For Colored Girls…Rainbow Is Enough by N. Shange” or “Bein’
III. LIMITED PREPERATION EVENTS:
There is a (7) minutes maximum for the student to speak, but speakers will be allotted 30 minutes to prepare their speech. Speakers should analyze the topic adequately, after having been given a choice of three different topics, they are to choose one and then prepare to present.
National Extemporaneous (N.X.)
Everything deals with National issues.*Some areas or current events may overlap. Example: War with Iraq(FX: How are the people of Iraqdealing with the invasion of American Troops?) or (NX: How does the American Public view the war with Iraq?)
International Extemporaneous (I.X.) or (F.X.)
Everything deals with International issues.
III. DEBATE EVENTS:
The debate events are separated in a way that provides all students the opportunity to participate in an event that makes the most sense for them. Whether you want to fly solo in the philosophical world of Lincoln-Douglas Debate, or partner up to battle through the Public Forum or Parliamentary Debate ranks, there’s definitely a debate event for you.
With a heavy focus on philosophical quandaries, Lincoln-Douglas is the sole style of debate that allows competitors to work independently. Cases focus on upholding a value within a debate (i.e. justice, morality, equality). Competitors will use evidence to support their claims, and ultimately achieve their value within the round in order to receive the win.
Public Forum Debate
Public Forum Debate was designed as a more casual style of debate in light of the overwhelmingly evidence-based world of policy. In Public Forum speaking time is minimal, but the opportunity to have an impact is high. Students write new cases each month on current event topics. Using a weighing mechanism, students prove how they better fulfill their case within the round.
You should never let money be a reason for not attending a tournament; we can always work something out. If you have difficulty in paying any of the fees, please let me know.
Fundraising is necessary in order to cover tournament expenses. Each member will participate in fundraising events. Should students wish to “buy out” of participating in fundraisers, an option will be provided. We are always looking for sponsors for the team. If you know anyone that would like to be involved in bettering your education please let Mr. Cummings know.