The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA

Third Grade Speeches

This week, third grade students are delivering their first Fay speeches! Starting in grade three, students go through the process each year of writing, practicing, and delivering a speech in front of a large audience. Through this process, The third grade speeches are the last ones of the school year, and at this point, third graders are well-versed in the event, having already sat through several Lower School speeches as audience members. The speech topic is also carefully tailored to pique the interest of a nine-year-old, because it’s all about them! Students begin by choosing traits that they believe describe them and a strong story from their life that exemplifies that trait. A strong story is one that the students can remember in detail and that clearly exemplifies the trait. The brainstorming process is a lot of fun as students delight in identifying and sharing stories of being “brave,” “adventurous,” “curious,” or “nervous.”  They narrow down the topic by choosing one of their trait stories to focus on in their speech.

Students plan and write their speeches in the same way that they planned the writing of their personal narratives in the fall. They choose between two graphic organizers to structure their speeches, a who/what/when/where organizer and a story mountain organizer that guides them from the background and rising action through the climax, falling action, and resolution. 

As part of the speech, students make text-to-self connections, identifying a literary character from a picture book who also illustrates their chosen trait. In a fun twist, each student dresses up as their literary character to deliver the speech. The front row of Harris Theater this week featured Pete the Pig from Pete & Pickles, Trixie from Mo Willems’ Knuffle Bunny, and Beekle, the imaginary friend in The Adventures of Beekle.  

Students write, edit, revise, and practice their speeches leading up to the big day. They work on making eye contact with the audience, using their voice to express emotion, and reading loud and clear and at an appropriate pace. When third grade speech day finally arrives, it is a capstone event to the first year in Lower School. This celebration of the literary characters they have studied all year is also a celebration of the unique characters in their midst as students get up one by one and share memorable moments from their lives, whether it’s trying out for a new team or wondering what may be lurking at the bottom of the basement stairs. Congratulations to all the third grade students!

Click here to view photos from the speeches.
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