Course Syllabus

Fall 2018

Course Title:

Honors Speech & Debate II


Ms. Melanie Elicker

Class Period:

Period 2 & 4

Office Hours:

Period 3

Email & Website:;

References for Class Vocabulary and Content:

Thank You for Arguing by Jay Heinrichs

Everything’s An Argument

Basic Debate

Required Materials:

Journal/Notebook, Binder, Pencil with eraser, Notecards, Pens, Highlighters, Earbuds/Headphones, helps to have a phone with video capabilities

Nature of the Course

In Honors Speech & Debate the course expands public speaking and forensic skills learned in Speech & Debate I.  Students demonstrate an advanced level of skill in selecting and editing quality literature, sharpening research skills, and analyzing current issues.  Students polish performances in their chosen area(s) of focus (event) as well as demonstrate an advanced level of skill in the evaluation of their own performances.  Students demonstrate and apply an advanced level of skill in diction, articulation, enunciation, and projection.  Students will participate in advanced level class activities.  Emphasis is placed on the application of content within and across curricular areas.  Students demonstrate advanced ability of independent learning.  Students are expected to participate in local and state level Speech and Debate (Forensics) competitions and/or events.

Course Calendar

Unit 1 – August -September

·         Speech delivery and tournament etiquette

·         Speech/Debate categories, rules, and rubrics

·         Identify specialization (TedEd Student Voice Club, Gavel Club, or NSDA; Officer position in Clubs and/or speech & event concentration)

Unit 2 – September - October

·         Begin tournament attendance (as early as Sept. 14)

·         Deliver speeches

·         Peer coaching

Unit 3 – October - November

·         Sharing of refined speeches

·         Peer & Mentor & Professional Coaching

Unit 4 – November - January

·         Preparation for Speech Showcase

·         Speech Showcase Jan. 11 as final exam

·         Reflection upon the semester & planning for Spring tournaments if applicable


Grade Setup in Power School
50% Speeches/Tests/Project/Research Paper

30% Quizzes

20% Assignments


Letter Grades as assigned by the Cabarrus County School District (

     A     90-100

     B     80-89

     C     70-79

     D     60-69

     F     Below 60/Failing – No credit given

Possibilities for extra credit will be announced during class.

Students – it is your responsibility to keep track of your grade (use PowerSchool).  If you have a question or concern about your grade, please make an appointment with Ms. Elicker outside of instructional time.  Thank you.  Ms. Elicker will update grades regularly in Power School.


Required Standards and Assignments

Feel free to refer to The Common Core ELA Speaking and Listening Standards (  which have some insight as to what we teach and the types of work we assign. 

Late for Class and English Department Late Work Policy

Late for Class

If not seated by the tardy bell, students may be counted late (if they fail to provide a written excuse).  If a student is counted tardy, their tardy will be recorded in PowerSchool.  Students must be through the door and headed to their seat by the time the tardy bell rings in order to be counted as on time for class.

Students are expected to remain in class during the entire period.  Students will not skip class.

English Department Late Work Policy

·         Work is considered submitted on time if the teacher receives it on the assigned date and time.

·         If a student fails to submit work by the required date and time, the student is allowed 5 class days to submit it at a deduction of 20%.

·         If the student fails to submit the work within five class days, the student may submit it at any time for the duration of that unit for a maximum score of 60.  Unit end dates are determined by the teacher.

Class Expectations

Follow School Rules as listed and described in the HRHS Student Handbook (


Typical Discipline Timeline

1st Offense:  Warning (redirection of in-class behavior) - minor offense recorded in Educators Handbook

2nd Offense:  Warning (one on one conference & email home) – minor offense recorded in Educators Handbook

3rd Offense:  Warning (email home) – minor offense recorded in Educators Handbook

4th Offense:  (email home) - Referral to Administrators


Unique to Ms. Elicker’s classroom:  I build my classroom management upon the elements of Safety and Trust.  I hope to gain your trust through regular and clear communication and as I get to know you each day reciprocate that trust toward you.  I aim for us all to create a safe space where all ideas and perspectives are welcome to be expressed so that they can be nurtured and even intellectually and/or creatively critiqued.  I occasionally refer to Maslow’s research when discussing Safety and Trust:


English Department Plagiarism Policy

Intentionally submitting another’s work as your own is considered cheating.  If a teacher determines a student to have cheated, the student is allowed five class days to resubmit the assignment for a maximum score of 60.  Additionally, cheating on a major assignment (test, quiz, major paper or project, etc.) will result in a disciplinary referral to the administration.

Final Note:

  • Keep a copy of your syllabus with you for reference.
  • Please return the following statement to Ms. Elicker asserting that both you and your parent/guardian have read your syllabus and received this course information no later than Friday, August 31.
  • A message from Ms. Elicker:  Perfection is attractive and provides incentive, but as Teddy Roosevelt said, "There is no effort without error."  Perfection does not often exist within our daily lives.  So I encourage students, parents, and myself to walk into our next new adventure with the willingness to strive valiantly; approach obstacles together; and determinedly make the collective decision to overcome what could hold us back from our best.
  • As you complete work this semester, please share your stories at #BEaBull


I have read and understand the guidelines and procedures for Ms. Elicker’s Honors Speech & Debate II class and have shared them with my parents.

PLEASE PRINT NEATLY AND CLEARLY so that Ms. Elicker can read your writing and accurately record information in our class Contact Information database.  THANK YOU! J


Student Name (print):                                                                                  Class: Honors Speech & Debate II         


Student Signature:                                                                                       Date:                                                  


Parent(s)/Guardian(s) Name (print):                                                                                                                    

  Willing to be a certified volunteer (judge/driver for competition) for us this year?      Y/N

If yes, I will then email you information on how to become a certified volunteer


Parent/Guardian Signature:                                                                                    Date:                                      


Parent(s)/Guardian(s) Phone Number:                                                                                                                


Parent(s)/Guardian(s) Email Address:                                                                                                                  

I very much appreciate parents’ email addresses in order to correspond regarding student’s work or behavior or for class announcements. 

Parent(s)/Guardian(s):  A $15 class fee is requested for this course.  Please see the following page for more detailed financial information.


  • My signature above indicates that I understand the requirements of the course, and I agree to abide by the guidelines outlined above.
  • I understand and am aware of the deadline listed above.
  • My signature above indicates that I understand the time and financial requirements of membership in this course.
  • I understand and am aware of the time and financial requirements for membership. I commit to attending ALL required events.
  • My signature above indicates that I understand that this course is voluntary and is an elective course.
  • I understand that if I anticipate any difficulties in meeting the commitment to the course, I must talk to Ms. Elicker to determine how the commitment can be met. All financial matters are kept strictly confidential.
  • Check here to request a meeting .

Personnel Information

·         We need CCS Certified Parent Volunteers for tournaments to act as judges (training is on site), to drive students to and from tournaments events, to provide transportation to/from Gavel Club (Toastmasters) events, and to film students’ work at Gavel Club (Toastmasters) events. 

·         A site to judging guidelines for S&D events:

·         Gavel Club Officer Positions (for students):  Wizard of Ahs (Ah Counter), Inquisitor(Table Topics Master), Head Coach (GE), Coach (Evaluator), Ringleader (Toastmaster), Gaveliers (members)

·         TEDEd Officer Positions:  Video Production Coordinator, Photographer, Social Media Expert

·         NSDA Officer Positions:  President, VP, Secretary, Treasurer



Important Dates & Information to consider for this course:

SAVE THE DATE!!  Students will be sharing their speeches and/or digital course work on the evening of Jan. 8 in the HRHS Media Center

Each student has the option of 3 courses of study in this class.  Their choice will need to be made by the first Friday of class.:

TEDEd Student Voices

(submission of a digital speech to the international community)

Showcase Event Dates (subject to change due to school cancellations, etc.):

Sept. 21                 Oct. 12                       Nov. 2                       Nov. 30                  Jan. 8

Gavel Club (Toastmasters) in Concord, NC

(speech delivered to business professionals at their gathering once a month – must be recorded on your phone and submitted for a grade – there are dues for membership)

Sept. 12 6:15pm                                 Oct. 10 6:15pm                        Nov. 14 6:15pm                           Dec. 12 6:15pm

Categories for Gavel Club speeches:  Inspirational Speech, Evaluation, Tall Tales, Poetry, Humorous Speech, Table Topics Speech

National Speech & Debate Association (Tarheel Forensics League)

Categories for NSDA:  Oral Interpretation, Informative Speaking, Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Extemporaneous Speaking, Original Oratory, Declamation, Impromptu Speaking, Public Forum Debate, Lincoln-Douglas Debate

(tournament attendance and associated fees)

Start Date







Speech and Debate


14th & 15th

Laird Lewis Tournament

Charlotte, NC


Speech and Debate



North Mecklenburg

Charlotte, NC


Speech and Debate



Charlotte Latin

Charlotte, NC


Speech and Debate




Asheville, NC


Speech and Debate



Ardrey Kell

Charlotte, NC








Speech and Debate



Carolina West Districts



Speech and Debate



State Tournament



Speech and Debate



NSDA National Championship

Financial Information – FAQ:  What does the $15 class fee go toward?

Gavel Club initial fee:  $50

Gavel Club annual membership fee:  $48

Gavel Club per-member fee:  $5

TEDEd Student Voice fee:  Price of equipment and software and/or software updates, price of set-up for filming TED Student Showcase Event (podium, etc.)

NSDA fees:  $50 membership fee for Tarheel Forensics League

Sample price breakdown per Tournament Event (this is released for our first tournament of the year):

Transportation costs:  $1 per mile ($50-$300 per trip depending upon distance); $85-$120/day to pay the sub for a certified bus driver (teacher at HRHS) OR $13-$16/hr. for a non-certified bus driver


Course Summary:

Date Details Due