Free Online Monthly Speech Tournament Earth Day April

2020 — Online,








The Great Debaters Online offers free monthly speech tournaments to any student, any grade level, and any school.  Our mission is to make speech and debate accessible to all. Each month we have a different topic and topic resources. Students have one month to prepare a written and/or video speech and submit by the last day of the month.  You can learn more by contacting us at or our website:  





Topic: What does Earth Day Mean to You?


April 22nd is Earth Day. We come together to celebrate the environment.  First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day includes events in over 190 nations and is coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network.  In our annual Earth Day Speech Invitational, students have until April 31st to submit their speeches on the topic of "What does Earth Day Mean to You." Indeed, the world is turning to youth like you to lead the way on environmental reform. Students like Greta Thunberg are now our environmental leaders. So stand up and share with us your views on Earth Day!





Our program is free. 





Original Oratory: Students record and submit a 1-5 minute video speech delivering an original speech on the monthly topic.


Speechwriting. Students submit an original 100-1000 word written speech on the monthly topic.


Double Entries: Students can participate in both events of Original Oratory and Speechwriting. 





All students and all grade levels can participate. We have divisions for Elementary School, Middle School, High School, and College/University.  Students can participate in one or both speech events. 





Please let us know however we can support. Whether you already have a speech and debate team at your school or if you are new to speech and debate, please let us know how we can support. Our staff have been participating in speech and debate for decades. We have coached thousands of debaters and directed citywide debate leagues. Speech and Debate is the most powerful academic program available in the world. Every student and school should have access.  Our program is completely free. And in addition to our online tournaments we offer free support, coaching, workshops, curriculum and more! 





Medals, Ribbons, and Trophies are awarded and mailed to the top winners of each division. Divisions include: Elementary School Division, Middle School Division, High School Division, and Collegiate Division. *Please note because of the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine rules, we estimate we will be mailing out awards this summer (July/August). *


School Sweepstakes Awards: Trophies and/or medals are awarded to the schools with the most entries.  The First Place School in addition to their Sweepstakes Award will win a $100 Pizza Party for their Team. 


Certificates of Participation: Online Certificates of Participation for all students.


Public Showcase. Top awardees will be featured on our website, social media, and e-newsletters.


The #1 fear of the majority of adults is public speaking. So whether you participate in one of our tournaments, or our tournaments every month - you are already a winner and developing lifelong skills. Public Speaking is one of the most powerful superpowers in the world! 





Each school should have at least one judge per 10 students. 











September: Topic: Select one of your most influential teachers or educators. Why did they make such an impact on you? (You can select a classroom teacher or someone else who has helped in your education. Examples: teacher, friend, family member, parent, coach, author, someone from history). Completely up to you!


October: Select a past or present advocate for peace. An "advocate" can be a single person or organization. How did they make the world a better place? What can we learn from them today? 


November: Select one or more rights of a child from the United Nations' Declaration of Rights of a Child. Which right/s did you select?  Why did you select? Describe the past, present, and future importance of the right/s you selected. Would you change or add any additional rights of a child? Anything else about rights of children?


December: Select one of the rights stated by the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.  Which right did you select? Why? Describe the past, present and future importance of that right. Anything else about that right?


January: What does Martin Luther King Jr. mean to you?


February: Select a problem in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics.  What is the problem? What is the significance of this problem? What are the harms of this problem? Is anything being done about the problem? What would be your solution to this problem?


March: Students have the choice of two topics. Topic #1 - Select an issue that face women presently or in the past. Why did you select that issue? Why is it important? What is being done about it? What would you do about it? Topic #2 - Select a woman of the present or past who has made a difference on you or society. Why did you select this person? Why is she important? What did she do?  What can we learn from her?


April: What does Earth Day mean to you? 


May: What does the right to vote mean to you?You can address any topics relating to voting: the history of the right to vote, individuals denied the right to vote, what the right to vote means to you, historical groups and individuals who won the right to vote, or what would you do with your right to vote (ie what laws would you pass?). Finally, you can address problems in voting ie does your vote count, obstacles to voting, voter turn out, gerrymandering, requirements of voting and other problems of voting.  


June: How should the world address the Refugee crisis?


July: Select any problem in the world. What would be your solution? And/or what are you doing about that problem now?


August: Select any present or past youth advocate (and can be yourself!). Describe their life. What did they do to make the world a better place? How did they impact you or others?  Your choice should be under the age of 18.





Feel free to reach out to us at anytime.  Thank you so much for being apart of the speech and debate movement. As a student of speech and debate since middle school, I can say that it is the most powerful opportunity in the world. I owe everything to my own speech and debate team and coach. And so it is our honor to support any teacher, student and school. And definitely let us know any feedback to improve our program. .




Erik Fogel

Director, The Great Debaters Online