Perception, Perspective, and Public Speaking

Reagan’s famous “Tear Down This Wall” speech teaches 11th-grade students about the dynamics of creating and giving a speech in the American Freedom Museum.


Surrounded by the artifacts and tangible reminders of our nation’s story, 11th-grade students discussed the speeches and sayings that have shaped that story. Expounding upon what they’re learning in their Speech class, students were given different parts of Reagan’s famous “Tear Down This Wall” speech to emphasize. In the discussion following, they unpacked how cadence, tone, energy, and enunciation impact the delivery and meaning of a speech.

Individually, each student was tasked with choosing five quotes from a provided selection and then crafting a quick speech to share in front of their peers to practice public speaking and put what they had just learned to the test! They also had the opportunity to discuss perception and how words might be interpreted differently by each person listening or reading, pending their own experiences and worldview.

As educators, we recognize that our time with our students is short. We hope that we’re preparing them to be leaders in their communities, individuals who have an impact for the Kingdom, and men and women who use their words to speak the truth. Holding this hope, and our charge to steward the time we have with students well, we look for every opportunity we have to make learning an interactive skill-building one.