Today John delivered his report for his American History Club:
In large group learning environments they simply don’t have the time (or patience!) for kids to practice oral presentation. My son is only 7 and I think he’s stood up and delivered more times already than I have in my entire life!
This was a short one – notwithstanding some new vocab and difficult verbiage it really only took him 2-3 days to get down. I’ve come to see and appreciate *memorization* (poetry, speeches like this, Scripture, etc.) as a terrific mental exercise and, not to mention, a formidable skill to have for life.
Here’s the text:
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth.