What is the best declamation piece for all high school levels?What is the best declamation piece for all high school levels?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There are so many choices! No matter what grade you are in, the key is choosing a piece that you are interested in. Choose something where you can feel the emotion, and you understand what the speech means. You'll be better able to deliver it and get a good grade.
archteacher's profile pic

archteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Do you have a specific genre to work with?  As far as I know, declamation selections can be poetry, prose, speech, etc.  If fictional prose or poetry/drama is allowed, I'd suggest the following:

From To Kill a Mockingbird:  Atticus Finch's closing statements in the Tom Robinson trial

From Macbeth:  Macbeth's "Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow" soliloquoy in Act 5, Scene 6

From Romeo and Juliet:  The Friar's scolding of Romeo in 3.3

readerofbooks's profile pic

readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

You can take this in many different ways, because there is so much from which to choose. I will talk about ancient works, because that is what I know best. Also, rhetoric and the art of declamation was in many ways developed in the ancient world.

If you go with the Greeks, you can do a  part of a speech by Demosthenes, such as On the Crown, or his Philippics. This can be a lot of fun as you imagine the historical context of Athens and the rise of Philip of Macedon.

If you go with the Romans, you can do a speech by Cicero. He has written so much. So, there is a lot from which to choose.

If you go with a religious twist, you can read one of Paul's letters in the New Testament. Scholars are increasingly seeing the rhetorical elements in Paul.

If you go with a modern person, I suggest a speech by Churchill or Lincoln.

Good luck.

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