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: (see speech links below)

  • 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.
  • Mark Twain
  • 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

Videos to Watch for Communication 101: 

Thesis Statement

Writing Ninjas: Writing A Strong Thesis Statement

How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

Thesis Statement: Four Steps to a Great Essay

Book Read Aloud

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Corduroy by Don Freeman

Let’s Visit the Hoover Dam / Prager U Kids  (only beginning and end but cute video)


A Source of Hope in Darkest Moments

“First Thing I Said, Jesus Help Me!”

Persistent Prayer Pays Off for Wrongfully Accused Man

Demonstration Speeches

How To Change a Tire / Dad How Do You Do It?

How to Bake a Cake Kids’ Style

Quick & Easy 5 Minute Make-Up Tutorial 


Chick-Fil-A Commercial 2021 

Like Father Like Son / LiMu Emu & Doug / Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

CocaCola(r) Masterpiece 

Next Stop McDonald’s

Jakit Commercial 

Persuasive Speech

Martin Luther King Speech “I Have a Dream”

President Ronald Reagan “Tear Down This Wall” Speech at Berlin Wall

We Shall Never Surrender speech by Winston Churchill (We Shall Fight on the Beaches) 

Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech regarding USSR and Eastern Block

Thatcher’s Last Stand Against Socialism 

General Douglas MacArthur Farewell to Congress


Margaret Thatcher Interview / Conservative Party / British Prime Minister 1987

Firing Line with William F. Buckley: Presidential Hopeful Ronald Reagan

Firing Line with William F. Buckley: Hippies

Firing Line with William F. Buckley: The World of LSD

Finish Well Interview with Vicki Tilman

Finish Well Interview with Kerry Beck


Debating Skills Introduction

Debate Dogs vs Cats

Debate Presidential 2nd Debate Ronald Reagan Walter Mondale

Sample Debate / Breanna Jennings “Are Uniforms Good for Students?”


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.


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