Many of the instructions below are specific to a live recitation contest. Poetry In Voice is recommending all classroom and school contests be held online. Please read our Run an Online Contest before consulting this page.
For each of their recitations, students receive an accuracy score and a cumulative performance score.
At the classroom contest, the teacher can be the sole performance judge. Another teacher or a student can play the role of accuracy judge.
At the school contest, you’ll need one accuracy judge and three performance judges. If students will be reciting in French, you’ll need additional French-speaking judges.
At the Junior Online Finals and at the Online Qualifiers and the National Finals, Canadian poets are the judges.
If you feel you may have a conflict of interest, please let the event organizers know asap.
Potential conflicts of interest include:
- Being the relative of one of the contestants
- Being the teacher of one of the contestants (in the case of the online contests, the National Finals, or the Team Regionals)
- Being an alumni of one of the competing schools (in the case of the online contests, the National Finals, or the Team Regionals)
As each student recites, you will closely watch their performance and evaluate for physical presence, voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, interpretation, and overall performance.
Each aspect of a student’s recitation can be rated from Very Weak to Outstanding, and the maximum performance score is 33.
Review the evaluation materials carefully and ask the contest organizer any questions you may have.
Before the Contest
The contest organizer will provide you with a copy of the poems that will be recited. It’s helpful to read through the poems and become familiar with them.
During the Contest
- When you arrive, the organizer will provide you with the appropriate Evaluation Sheets.
- As each student recites, fill out the Evaluation Sheet.
- For each criterion, a solid performance earns a 4 (or 5 for overall performance); please keep this in mind as you are scoring the early recitations. You would not want to score higher or lower than the student deserves, and the early scores will set the standard for the rest of the competition.
- Be sure you score each category separately and carefully — you should not find yourself circling all 3s, for instance.
- A score of 9 for overall performance is generally very rare. Save this for truly exceptional recitations.
- When the recitation is over, take a few seconds to review the sheet and ensure you’ve assigned a score for each criterion.
- As soon as you’re done, give the sheet to the tabulator.
An accuracy judge silently reads the poem being recited (using the version from our website) and uses our Accuracy Score Sheet to give the student an accuracy score.
Our accuracy scoring system differentiates between small errors (saying “a” instead of “the,” for example), big errors (like skipping a line or a stanza), and using the prompter.
A perfect accuracy score is 8, and no matter how many accuracy errors a student makes, the lowest possible accuracy score is 1.
Review the Accuracy Score Sheet carefully and ask the contest organizer any questions you may have.
Before the ContestRead through the poems that will be recited (the contest organizer should provide you with these). Devise a system for marking up each kind of error. For example:
- T = transposed words
- X = a dropped word
- P = help from the prompter
- XX = a dropped line