With the country in the final stages of a political season, stump speeches by politicians are in the news.
Students at Manawa Elementary School have been writing and reciting their own stump speeches.
The idea came from Megan Yeska, Manawa Elementary School principal.
“It’s important for me to find resources that encompass our whole school in which everyone, staff and students, can be part of the learning experience,” Yeska said. “The six-word stump speech really struck a chord with me because it offers a wide variety and breadth of educational experiences for kids. It’s memorable. It is going to be identifiable.”
Students K-sixth grade are participating in the stump speech project. Yeska said students can write their stump speech about a presidential or political theme. They can also write about something inspirational. If a student can’t come up with their own six-word stump speech, they can recite a famous stump speech from the past, or the school-wide stump speech “Manawa Wolves will make a difference.”
When the students recite their stump speeches, they do so while standing on an actual stump. They are also recorded on video giving their speech.
Corrie Ziemer, the K-sixth grade physical education teacher who also has a background in gifted and talented education, does the recording.
“It’s been really interesting,” Ziemer said. “They’ve really been gung ho about it. I didn’t know if they would be at first.”
Ziemer said the stump speech project has given students the opportunity to learn about the history of stump speeches, and what some of the more famous ones were. She said students who have written their own are writing them on issues, such as the environment or gas prices.
“They’re learning about the presidents and the election coming up,” Ziemer said. “It’s a writing assignment. They have to be able to figure out six words and try to be different than every other kid.”
The top five or six speeches from each class will be assembled and hopefully put on the district’s web site, Ziemer said.
“I’ve been really impressed with what they’ve come up with,” Ziemer said. “One of my favorite ones [was by] a student who tends to be pretty shy. His was, ‘Only your best is good enough.'”
Ziemer, who also coaches volleyball told the student that she was going to share his stump speech with the volleyball team.
“It is really exciting to hear students dig deep and embrace something that they will remember,” Yeska said. “They will remember their six-word stump speech.”