The Foundations Speech & Debate Team is a one of a kind tem this year to enhance the speech and debate experience for each middle school debater at Marist School. Developed by Mr. Jeffrey Miller, the Foundations program individualizes the experience for each young debater at Marist. In 7th grade, our students will compete in intramural activities, where the focus will be on learning about speech and debate skills rather than competition. In 8th grade, our students will compete in a transitional program at high school speech and debate tournaments, where the focus will be on finding the right event for each student to improve their success in high school.
The Foundations program was covered by the National Speech & Debate Association in the Spring issue of the Rostrum. Read the article here.
In 8th grade, our students will compete along with our high school team at a limited amount of tournaments. The purpose of this travel year is to provide students with a year of learning about the different types of speech and debate and to focus on improving rather than competition. The goal of this transitional year is a focus on the long term. By competing in 8th grade at high school speech and debate tournaments, our students will be able to take full advantage of their four years in high school in their specific event.
The travel year works in two parts. The first part is the mandatory spectator period. Before competing at a tournament, each 8th grade student will be required to attend a tournament to watch different types of events. The purpose of this for the students to get a better idea of what speech and debate looks like, and for them to have a voice in their event selection.
The sample spectator day for our 8th grade students would look like the following:
9:00am: Round 1 – Watch a Policy Debate Round
11:00am: Round 2 – Watch a Lincoln Douglas Debate Round
1:00pm: Round 3 – Watch a Speech Round
3:30pm: Round 4 – Student Choice – Watch another round of an event you enjoyed
After the four rounds of spectating, the students will have a chance to talk to one of the coaches about the event they’d like to focus on throughout the season.
The second part is competing in the event they choose. Each activity period, our 8th graders will be split by events for practices.
In 7th grade, our students will compete in intramural forensic activities. Our students will learn basic argumentation and logical reasoning skills to create a strong foundation for their speech and debate careers. Meeting each activity period, 7th grade students will learn skills with the goal of completing a goal each term.
The 7th grade program competes in an activity modeled after Policy Debate and Public Forum Debate.
The 7th graders will be invited to compete at the Marist Scrimmage Series each term.