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Rhetoric Courses

Intro to Speech, Debate and Mock Trial

Suggested Age:



Purpose: This class is intended for middle school students as a fun introduction to rhetoric with an emphasis on public speaking, debate, and mock trial.  It is a stepping-stone to high school level classes such as Classical Speech and Mock Trial competition.  All three units will focus on developing students’ critical thinking, analytical abilities, and communication skills.

In the fall, students will get more comfortable with public speaking and learn about the various types of speeches, focusing on informative and persuasive speeches.  Students will write and deliver both an informative speech and a persuasive speech.  

During the winter, students will learn about debate format, research, and argumentation. Students will conduct debate research and prepare their cases for Lincoln-Douglas class debates in February.

Mock Trial:
In the spring, students will start an introductory unit on mock trial. Students will be introduced to civil and criminal trials, the rules of evidence, and how to conduct direct and cross-examinations. Students will have the opportunity to act as witnesses and/or attorneys during a mock trial held in class in May.

Speech and Communication

Suggested Age:


This very practical high-school-level course is designed to help students acquire valuable communication skills in academic, workplace, and social settings. At the beginning of the school year, we will pay special attention to helping students overcome any fears of public speaking, the fundamentals of nonverbal communication, and the development of reasoning and listening skills. Students will have extensive opportunities to speak in class, including practicing communication for social interaction and interviews.  Throughout the course, students will discuss the importance of ethics in communication, as well as how to effectively share a Biblical worldview in both formal and informal settings.  Students will compose and deliver informative, persuasive, motivational, visual aid, Powerpoint, special occasion, and apologetic speeches. The goal is that this class would be enjoyable while also helping students acquire the crucial skills needed for great communication. Students will have weekly homework and deliver approximately two speeches per month.

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