Third graders finished their persuasive writing unit with a "Battle of the Speeches," a friendly competition to see which speech was the most persuasive. All students wrote a short paper arguing for or against something, stating a case for a change in rules or demonstrating why a certain person should be recognized more.

The students voted by secret written ballot for three other students to represent their class in the battle. The three representatives, nine in all, then read their speeches aloud to the grade. They got to use the podium and microphone in the Centennial Theater.

Topics included why people should stop cutting trees, save the elephants, and use paper straws instead of plastic ones. Other topics were directed at teachers, and possibly Mr. Morgan, who was in the audience, to allow students to sit where they want in the dining hall, to have longer lunch periods, and to get rid of uniforms and wear regular clothes every day. One student urged his classmates to recognize and thank the best Mom in the world, his mother, for all the things she does every day such as doing chores without complaining and teaching kindergarten.

It was clear the students really believed in their topics!