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Debate & Public Speaking Camp Level III: Speech Events, Speechwriting & Rhetoric

Erik, Professor, J.D, MS, BS
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(1,046)
In this 2 month course, students will continue to develop their public speaking and debate skills with contests, trivia, games, prizes and more! 8 speech and debate events! 8 tournaments! 80 public speakers! 80 rhetorical skills!

Class experience

US Grade 5 - 8
1. Students will be prepared for speech events in competitive local, state or national tournaments.
2. Students will learn how to participate in speech and debate with or without a debate team at their school. 
3.  Students will learn advanced speech and debate skills. 
4.  Students will improve their understanding and practice of public speaking skills and specifically the skills of passion, ethos, logos, hand gestures, eye contact and body movement. 
5.  Students will improve their understanding and practice of speechwriting skills - introductions, conclusions, persuasive writing and research. 
7. Students will participate in a speech tournament and mini tournaments. 
8.  Students will learn various speech and debate formats. 
I have been involved in speech and debate as a student and educator my entire life.  I learned more in my Speech and Debate Club than all my high school, college and law school classes combined. I joined the Speech and Debate Team at my middle school because I was very shy of public speaking. I have been hooked in speech and debate since! 

I received my B.A. from U.C Berkeley, Jurist Doctorate from Hastings College of Law, and Masters Degree in Education at Pace University.  In 2002 I was accepted to Teach for America and I have been teaching since. I have been a public school teacher for ten years with the New York City Department of Education and taught speech and debate classes for about ten years with thousands of NYC students. My debaters have gone on to win city, state and national champion titles. I currently serve as Professor at Baruch College in the Communications Studies Department. I teach Debate and Argumentation classes as well as Political Rhetoric. 

As a teacher I helped to co-found the Big Apple Debate League which is now the NY Debate League. In 2011, I founded our city's Debate League with the mission that every middle school and high school should have a debate team. I served as Founder and Executive Director from 2011-2019 building the league into the largest citywide debate league in the nation, serving thousands of students every year.  In 2020, I left the nonprofit world, and I returned to my passion as a full time teacher! 

I have received numerous awards in education including the United States Supreme Court Summer Institute for Teachers Fellowship, Fund for Teachers Fellowship, Plank Foundation Fellowship, and Teach for America Innovation Award Finalist.

I love teaching. My grandparents, parents and my brother are all educators. There is nothing more fun than sharing your passion with others. 

My philosophy of teaching is learning should be fun and challenging.  I always begin my classes with current events trivia.  My lectures are interactive with movie clips, songs, puzzles and other engaging tools.  We always practice our public speaking and debate skills. All my classes end with a fun and competitive speech and debate practice or tournament.  My mission is all students should have access to speech and debate.

Press. Below are some news articles about me and my debaters! I owe everything to my own debate teacher and coach and so everyday my mission is to support future debaters! 

1. First Lady Michelle Obama Honors Erik and the Great Debaters

2. Bronx debate team one of 12 school groups nationally to get visit with Michelle Obama

3. New York City Teacher Creates After School Debate League Lauded by the White House
Homework Offered
Weekly Speech Assignment. Each student should spend 1-2 hours a week on speech writing and recording their speeches.
2 - 4 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
1. Public Speaking Tournament. Each week we have a different speech event and contest. 2. Class Practices. Each class features trivia, quizzes, games and more to assess learning.
Grades Offered
Students should be familiar with the different Apps we will be using frequently in class: (1) Kahoot, (2) Blooket, (3) Quizlet, (4) GimKit, (5) Poll Everwhere, (6) Flip. These are also listed in the Materials section for more information. All are free and very easy to use. Students who have taken Level #1 and Level #2 will have experience with most of these Apps. If you have not enrolled in Level #1 and Level #2, please review and practice each of these Apps before the class. Otherwise, you may be lost during class. 

While not required, you may want to have a secondary portable device for the games especially if Internet issues. Some students tend to have their Zoom/Outschool on their main device (computer) for the lecture. And all of these Game Apps can be played on a secondary device - smartphone, tablet, laptop or other device. That way you do not have to toggle between different tabs if just using one device. But if you only have one device, that should be fine! 
This is a Speech and Debate Class and so students have the freedom to write, speak an debate on issues they care about. Some of these issues may be controversial in areas of politics, wars, discrimination, crime and prejudice (sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, anthroprocentrism). So students and families should be aware and prepared for mature content and mature issues in a speech and debate class. 

Comedy! If not comfortable with Comedy Shows this is not the class for you! We will be using lots of mature comedy content from such shows as Saturday Night Live and other late night and daytime comedy shows! My goal is to engage students in current issues and build a lifetime commitment to current events by making it fun, humorous and to share good laugh. Smiling and laughing while learning is my goal! 

I understand that Speech and Debate and Current Events  can be controversial. I have been teaching debate for about twenty years, I was a debater for another ten years, and I have founded and directed the largest debate league in the nation! So I have substantial experience in speaking and debating on issues of controversy. My rule of thumb and one of the first things I say in class and our number one rule: RESPECT - we respect all viewpoints, politics and perspectives. As a teacher I am not focused on what the politics of students are but focused on HOW students express their opinions - public speaking skills, writing skills, reading skills, presentation skills, debate skills and social skills of respect towards all others. Additionally, for any issues of controversy we always discuss other viewpoints and arguments so that students learn and respect different perspectives.

External Resources Statement: We will be using a variety of classroom tools, readings, links and other external resources. Please review the Materials section before signing up for this class.  These resources are optional. No accounts have to be created. All these resources are free.  All these resources have been vetted and used widely by students, schools and teacher. But I do recommend that students read, listen or watch some sort of news and current events for the class. 
Average rating:4.9Number of reviews:(1,046)
Hi Everyone!  I have been involved in speech and debate as a student and educator my entire life.  I learned more on my Speech and Debate Club than all my high school, college and law school classes combined. I joined the Speech and Debate Team at... 
Group Class


for 8 classes
1x per week, 8 weeks
60 min

Completed by 118 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 9-14
5-18 learners per class

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