What is Forensics?
Forensics is a public speaking program that pits speakers from different schools against each other.
The program is an overall fun experience and is meant to bring out or improve students' public speaking skills. Each member picks a category to compete in and selects a piece that will fit that category. Throughout the season the student will try to improve his or her interpretation of the piece in hopes of taking home a ribbon, or even traveling to higher levels of competition, such as States, which take place in Selinsgrove, PA at Susquehanna University, or Nationals which are held in different locations around the country each year.
What categories are available?
There are a dozen categories available to speak in, enough that nearly anyone should be able to find something they enjoy:
Extemporaneous -Students select a category on-site and are given 30 minutes to prepare. They then present their speech before a judge.
Commentary - Students select a category on-site and are given 30 minutes to prepare a speech. They then present their speech in front of a judge while seated at a table.
Student Congress* - Students prepare pro or con arguments for pre-determined bills and present their arguments before a congress of peers. The top speakers are selected by a judge and then voted on by the congress. The congressmen are separated into two houses, varsity and novice houses. The varsity houses are for those who are more experienced and novice is for those who are new to Student Congress. Each house is led by a presiding officer whose job it is to oversee the debate and to keep the house running smoothly.
Public Forum Debate -A team of 2 students prepare pro and con arguments on pre-determined issues and compete against teams from other schools.
Informative - In Informative speaking, students write their own informative speeches on topics of their choice.
Persuasive - In Persuasive speaking, students write persuasive speeches on topics of their choice.
Prose* - In Prose, students select a narrative piece and read it while capturing the mood and characters of the piece.
Poetry *- In Poetry, students select a poem (roughly 7-10 minutes in length) and read it while capturing the mood and characters of the piece.
Declamation** - In Declamation, students select a famous speech and deliver it while attempting to capture the mood of the original speech.
Duo - In Duo Interpretation, students work together in groups of two to act out a scene.
Serious - In Serious (or Dramatic) Interpretation, students select a serious or dramatic scene or monologue to act out.
Humorous - In Humorous Dramatic Interpretation, students select a humorous scene or monologue to act out.
* - only categories that the speaker gets to read their selection (no memorization required)
** - only available to students in grades 9 and 10
How much time does Forensics take up?
A lot. Plenty of time and practice is required to do well in forensics. No one will be able to join, put forth minimal effort, and then take first place at their first meet. The main goal of forensics is to improve speaking skills - in order to do that, students need to put forth their best effort and be willing to put a lot of time into the activity.
WORK IN PROGRESS
Our team is coached by Miss Sarah Layton, Shanksville's Spanish teacher