Speech & Debate

From: $90.00 / month for 5 months

Grades:  9th–12th

Live Class:  Thu 11:00–12:00 p.m. ET

Dates (1st Sem):  Aug 26–Dec 20, 2024

Dates (2nd Sem):  Jan 13–May 9, 2025

Prepaid: $399

Instructor: Lisa Duckworth

See Reviews of Instructor Lisa Duckworth


Course Description

Speech and Debate Syllabus coming soon

This semester-long Speech and Debate course is an introduction to public speaking and argumentation. It is designed to teach skills in oral, written, visual, and non-verbal communication, critical thinking, analyzing documents, research, persuasion, and argumentation. In this course, students will learn several speech presentation styles, including:

  • Humorous
  • Declamation
  • Original Oratory
  • Informative
  • Impromptu
  • Poetic
  • Persuasive
  • Storytelling
  • Dramatic

This course will also teach students several debate styles, including some of the following:

  • Congressional
  • Lincoln-Douglas
  • Public Forum
  • Policy Debate
  • Extemporaneous

The goal of this course is to help the student become a more proficient public speaker and presenter. This course aims to help students become more comfortable in their own individual speaking styles as well as teach them how to research and engage in debate effectively and respectfully over a wide range of topics.

Content Warning: All speech and debate topics will be subject to final approval. However, since this is a speech and debate class, there may be instances of potentially controversial topics.

Course Structure

This course will cover two central units: Introduction to Speech (Public Speaking) and Introduction to Debate (Argumentation). Each week will introduce a new topic, either a type of speech or a debate-style. I use a flipped classroom, so students will use digital notebooks, videos, video lectures, and web links to learn about the topics. Live classes will be for speech-making and debating sessions. Outside of class, work will consist of practicing topic skills, learning vocabulary, researching speech and debate topics, analyzing documents, and outside readings. Students should expect to do 2-3 hours on assignments per week. Most assignments will be due weekly, with some having longer dues dates. In addition, there will be weekly quizzes on the topic material, including vocabulary, and a cumulative test will be given at the end of each unit. Students will complete most assessments on Canvas.

Technology Requirements

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch video lectures and other videos as assigned
  • Computer
  • Scanning Capabilities (phone, iPad, tablet or scanner)
  • Printer
  • Microsoft or Google Products Access (MS Word, MS Excel, Google Docs, Google Sheets, PowerPoint or Google Slides)

Evaluation and Feedback

Student progress will be assessed through assignments that may include but are not limited to vocabulary and weekly topic quizzes and unit tests, homework, speeches, debates, projects, and participation.

  • Total points will compute all graded assignments.
  • Students should expect to spend about 2-3 hours outside of the live class practicing and reviewing skills taught in the class. Researching topics, supporting material, and analysis of documents will also be a significant part of a student’s homework assignments.
  • Students will receive a progress report mid-semester and at the end of a semester. Parent conferences are available upon request.
  • All grades will be available in Canvas for students and parents.
  • Unless otherwise specified, assignments will be graded within five days of a due date.


Parents and Students may contact me through Canvas. I will respond within 48 hours to all communications. Please do not hesitate to contact me or ask questions.


Required Texts

3-ring binder,  loose-leaf paper, pencils, pens and a highlighter, Post-it Notes, index cards



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Instructor Bio

Lisa Duckworth

Hi! I am Lisa Duckworth, and I am super excited to teach science with Aim Academy! I have been an educator for 30 years. I have a Bachelor of Science in Science Education from North Carolina State University (Go Wolfpack!) and have taught science to all ages of students. I started teaching public high school science in NC – Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and AP Biology and then took time off to be a homeschooling mom to 4 fabulous kids. Over the last 20 years, I have been teaching in our homeschool coop, and my teaching repertoire has expanded to math, history, English, art, and science classes for all ages, you name a topic, and I have probably taught a course in it over the years. For the last seven years, I have been teaching science summer camp classes to kids ages 7-16 and teaching science classes at our local community college and I am an AP Reader for Environmental Science in June each year. But, as you can probably tell, I love science! Contact: lduckworth[at]aimacademy.online


All classes taught by Lisa Duckworth