How to Film a Recitation

Watch a teacher and student film a recitation.


Filming Requirements

  • Each recitation requires its own separate video.
  • Videos must be filmed in the presence of a teacher.
  • Each video should be filmed in one single shot and from one static angle.
  • For each recitation video, the student should be:
    • standing and facing the camera, head to mid-torso (medium shot)
    • in front of a plain background
    • sure that no school insignia or visual representations of any kind are visible
    • the only visible and audible person in the video
  • The sound and picture must be clear.
  • Videos cannot be edited.
  • Do not add music, graphics, titles, or computer animation.
  • Videos that do not respect our requirements will be disqualified.

Recitation Requirements

  • Students must begin by stating the title of the poem and the poet’s name only.
  • A student’s own editorial comments before or after the poem are not allowed.
  • Poems must be recited from memory.
  • Students competing in the English and French prize streams must recite three poems, and one poem must have 25 lines or fewer. Students competing in the Bilingual prize stream must recite two poems: one in English and one in French.
  • Avoid character accents.


  • Start recording a few seconds before the recitation and stop recording a few seconds after the end.
  • Students may look directly into the camera, at a fixed spot, or at an imagined audience.
  • Use a tripod or secure the camera on a shelf.
  • Use a microphone, if possible. If the microphone is on the camera, position the camera close to the student.
  • Watch the video after you film it. Be sure to check the accuracy of the recitation. If you’re not happy with the video, film it again.
  • Use the poem title to name the video when you save it.