Civic Oration

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What is the Civic Oration Contest?

In 1948, Modern Woodmen of America developed this contest to offer students an opportunity to develop skills in clear thinking and public speaking. Today, it is an important event in schools across the nation. Since all materials are provided free from Modern Woodmen of America, the program is easy to implement in schools.   This is a individual student (non-team) contest, and is open to all TMS students.  


The Civic Oration Contest Assist With Developing Lifelong Skills In:

  • Public speaking skills
  • Fine-tune existing English skills
  • Enhance self-esteem
  • Earn pins, trophies and recognition


How do I get selected for the Civic Oration Contest?

Students are selected by preparing and giving a three- to five-minute speech on the topic provided by the Modern Woodmen of America.  Individual teachers narrow participation in the contest through classroom-level activities.  Those students who are selected from their class will then compete in a school-level contest.  Those students who win at the school-level will then represent TMS at the county-level contest.


The 2017-18 Contest-TBD


  • Level I- School Level:  Trexler Middle School
  • Level II- County Level: Family Education Center (1st and 2nd Place winners from Level I)
  • Level III- Regional Level:  White Oak High School (1st and 2nd Place winners from Level II) 


2017-18 School Speech Contest topic: Details coming soon. 

Speeches must be at least three minutes and no longer than five minutes long, and must be in the students' own words.


Judging criteria 

Contestants will be judged using the following 100-point system:


40 points for material organization 
This accounts for theme and subject adherence, structure, content, logic and color. 

40 points for delivery and presentation 
This includes voice, pronunciation, enunciation, gestures and poise. 

20 points for overall effectiveness 
This scores impression and effect. 


Rules summary


  1. A minimum of 10 students must participate.
  2. The contest must be held between Jan. 1 and May 31.
  3. A School Speech Contest order form must be completed and submitted to Modern Woodmen each year, at least 30 days before the contest.
  4. Speech content must be each student’s own thoughts and words on the topic, “An interesting landmark".
  5. No costumes, visuals or props may be used at the contest. If used, 50 points will be deducted.
  6. At the school’s discretion, speeches may be memorized or notes may be used, but students must be notified of the decision two weeks before the contest.
  7. Each speech must be three to five minutes long. Penalty points will be assessed for speeches over or under the time limit.