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Speech at public setting in school - starts at what age?

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Hi All,
I plan to talk to some teachers directly too. I would appreciate if there are any pointers on the topic. There are recitals or guest visits to the schools. What age students would be expected to speak at these events if at all is the norm? Maybe a small welcome speech or a thank you note by a student ?

I noticed at the functions in school so far, the 2nd graders and 3rd graders played parts of narrators and other speaking parts in various recitals, acts etc. But the thank you or other welcome speeches always come from the teachers. Is it the norm everywhere?

Thank you for your help!

- Rupali
#1 - November 30, 2014, 04:29 PM

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This is a broad question and may vary by school, region, and student capabilities.

In my area, the preschoolers perform group songs, often while dressed in costume. My friend's 4 year old was just a turkey for Thanksgiving.

There will be a soloist in my son's fourth grade chorus this year. The students tried out for that. The chorus consists of over 100 kids all of whom perform twice per year.

The K-2 school has a talent show. Kids can perform individually or in groups of their choosing.

Students act as narrators for the fifth grade play. Every child who tries out gets a speaking role, even if they have to speak in pairs. The general welcome is usually given by the director or school principal. Students lead the Pledge.

Usually the teacher introduces and thanks a guest to the classroom. However, my son may have introduced me as a guest reader once. I think teachers prefer to do this because it moves the students' focus away from them and then back to them.

Thank you notes may come from the class as a group or from the individual students packaged by the teacher. Often a teacher's note accompanies them.

Kids may also participate in various academic competitions like spelling bees and mathletes. Spelling bees require individual performance in front of a crowd.

I hope this helps.
#2 - November 30, 2014, 08:30 PM
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I was in a contest and performed prose and poetry in front of the school in first and second grade (won a yellow ribbon too).
At my daughter's elementary they had some soloists and the fifth grade 'president' had to speak.  My DD was chosen to speak in a promotional video about the school in fourth or fifth grade along with half a dozen others.
I'm sure it varies greatly depending on school and even student willingness.
Introductions and goodbyes always seem to be by a teacher or adult volunteer as far as I can remember.
#3 - December 02, 2014, 05:36 PM
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At my kids' school, there is an all-school meeting every six days. At each meeting, classes have various kinds of performances, from whole-group to soloists/individual speakers. I was there the other day for my current 3rd grader's class performance and a 1st grader played the piano and sang all by herself (Do You Want to Build a Snowman?). Last year, when she was in 3rd grade, my now-4th grader presented a project on turtles she did for fun on her own. But if it's not a whole-class performance, kids volunteer. Every ASM is moderated by a 5th grader all by him or herself. Also, at major assemblies (Memorial Day or such), kids also take on the role of leading the event, rather than adults.

That is just our experience -- I know it is different all around!
#4 - December 02, 2014, 05:45 PM

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Thank you everyone! !
Yes the various experiences shared here are very helpful. It's good to see that there are different levels of events and varying levels of kids participation. So that projects flexibility.  Pattern for welcome or thank you seems consistent though :)

Thanks everyone for sharing!
#5 - December 02, 2014, 07:22 PM

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At my granddaughter's 8th grade graduation, the students ran the whole show.  They introduced all the VIPS, gave the speeches, introduced the valedictorian etc.  They led all the salutes and presented all the awards.  The boys even remembered to button their jackets when standing up to speak.  I was most impressed.

Speech as a class is usually taught in the 9th grade in the states where it still in taught. 
#6 - January 18, 2015, 09:58 AM

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Thanks so much for sharing Sharon. 8th grade to 9th hmmm.  So I have new information to think about.
#7 - January 22, 2015, 05:20 AM

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