Speech Writing Teacher Resources

Delivering an effective persuasive speech involves a combination of presentation skills and sharp rhetorical tools. A passionate speech without carefully crafted appeals will go nowhere; a well-written message delivered blandly will fall on deaf ears. Teach your students how to successfully get what they want by honing their speech writing skills, both with intriguing prompts and examinations of great speeches in history.

A project on writing and presenting persuasive speeches is a great start, coupled with a graphic organizer that helps speakers plan their speech. Use various prompts to get the speech writing started, including sample instructions for a graduation speech, or an assignment on writing speeches based on famous quotations.

A trip through history can provide inspiration as well. A social studies assignment examines the devices in historic speeches, including Queen Elizabeth I’s address at Tilbury. Learners examine the fiery rhetoric in Joseph McCarthy’s “Enemies from Within” speech and analyze the main purpose of Elie Wiesel’s acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize. For a modern approach, check out a resource that compares word choice in the 2004 Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

No matter what your class wants to say, you can help them say it clearly and persuasively—with a little help from your friends at Lesson Planet!

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