Communications 101: Essays and Speeches


Say goodbye to fear of writing and public speaking in your home! Your teen can become a confident, skilled communicator! Teens learn to communicate effectively through writing and speaking in Communication 101: Essays and Speeches where students first read a classic essay before they write one. They listen to speeches before they give their own speech, as well as reading one living book a month. Communication 101: Essays & Speeches, a one-credit high school English course, can be used at home or in a group setting.

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Writing an essay or giving a speech can be a little intimidating for most teens. That’s where this course comes in! The goal is to provide a learning adventure that is challenging, but fun. Before we write an essay, we read and discuss an excellent one. This provides insight and help for your writer.

Before we give a speech, we listen to a skilled orator. In addition, we start simply in speech with reading a picture book aloud expressively. Your own family will make a great audience for your teen or combine with another family to get a bigger audience for speeches. This course has been a huge success in the co-op setting and even shy teens have enjoyed the challenge of speaking in front of their peers.

Students Will…

  • Read & discuss Great works of literature in a book club setting
  • Read a classic essay each month and look up vocabulary words
  • Write an essay similar to the one they read
  • Read essays aloud to family or homeschool co-op group
  • Listen to great speeches by excellent speakers
  • Give speeches in a safe atmosphere
  • Write 5 timed essays

Students will listen to the following speakers:

  • Ronald Reagan
  • William F. Buckley
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Margaret Thatcher
  • Winston Churchill
  • Martin Luther King
  • General Douglas MacArthur
  • Ken Ham

Students will give the following speeches:

  • Read a picture book aloud
  • Introductory speech
  • Demonstration speech
  • Personal testimony
  • Persuasive speech
  • Commercial
  • Interview
  • Extemporaneous
  • Debate

Students will read essays by the following writers:

  • G.K. Chesterton
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Cal Thomas
  • William F. Buckley, Jr.
  • Jonathan Swift
  • Charles Lamb
  • Sir Frances Bacon
  • Founding Fathers

Students will write the following essays:

  • Descriptive Essay
  • Narrative Essay
  • Article
  • Letter to the Editor
  • Persuasive Essay
  • Comparison Essay
  • Add Humor to an Old Essay
  • Critique or Review

There is a quick review of grammar in the beginning of the course and subsequent grammar reviews twice a month. However, this is based on the assumption that students have already studied grammar and just needs review.

All the required essays are included in Communication 101: Essays & Speeches:

  • “The South Sea House” by Charles Lamb
  • “Of Travel” by Frances Bacon
  • “Why the Articles Failed” (Anti-Federalist Paper)
  • “The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union” (Federalist Paper)
  • “So Help Me Darwin” by William F. Buckley
  • “French and English” by G.K. Chesterton
  • “Taming the Bicycle” by Mark Twain

You will need to purchase, or download from the internet, the following books:

  • Elements of Style by E.B. White
  • God in the Dock by C.S. Lewis (a collection of essays)
  • The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
  • The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
  • Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
  • Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
  • The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
  • Time Machine by H.G. Wells

You Can Find Some of the Books We Will Read as Free Downloads Online
The Prince & The Pauper by Mark Twain (Download for FREE here )
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne (Download for FREE here )
Ivanhoe​ ​ ​by Sir Walter Scott​ (Download for FREE ​here)
​A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court ​by Jules Verne (Download for FREE here)
​Time Machine ​by H.G. Wells (​Download for FREE here)

This course covers 1 credit of high school English grades 8-12.

You can purchase the print version of Communication 101: Essays & Speeches at

You can also purchase the E-book at or

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