Modern Oratory

In modern oratory, contestants will select one of the topics, determine the critical issues in the topic, and acknowledge both pro and con points citing support discovered in their research. Students will choose a side to defend and support that side with additional evidence.

Open to 2nd 4th - 5th grades.

2021-2022 HISD topics

4th/5th Grade ONLY

    1. Should the government take more action to help the homeless?

    2. Are countries doing enough to stop the threat of climate change?

    3. Is the United States prepared to keep people safe from cybercrimes?

    4. Would stricter gun laws make Texas schools safer?

    5. Should the amount of time a child spends on a phone or tablet be limited?

NOTE: Middle school topics can be found here:

2020-2021 HISD topics

Grade 2nd/3rd

  • Should schools be more environmentally friendly?

  • Is space travel still important for science?

  • Should America do more to help other countries dealing with COVID19? Can America do more to be more unified?

  • Should children have social media accounts?

Grade 4th/5th

  • Can energy from solar wind decrease America’s need for oil?

  • Should businesses take the lead in space travel, instead of governments? Should America increase aid to other countries fighting diseases?

  • Do schools teach enough about the history of racism?

  • Should the government regulate TikTok, Facebook, and Twitter?

2020-2021 MODERN ORATORY TOPICS from A-plus

Contestants must select one of the following topics for developing the oration.

  1. Do solar and/or wind power offer responsible solutions to our energy future?

  2. Will the increased involvement of private industry change the goals of space exploration?

  3. Should the federal government do more to address pandemics around the world?

  4. Is the United States addressing racism successfully?

  5. Should the government do more to regulate social media companies?

Students will deliver a three to six minute speech without the use of notes on their topic. In the process of preparing for the contest, the student will need to:

  1. define the problem;

  2. determine the pro and con issues;

  3. research the issue;

  4. look at both sides of an issue;

  5. reach a conclusion; and

  6. support that conclusion with documentation.

To achieve and maintain the educational goals of the contest activity, the teacher and/or parent may guide the development of the research and writing of the speech, but shall not be permitted to write the speech for the student.