Querencia Speeches

Alzar School | 17.09.14

In concluding our first English unit on “Querencia: A Sense of Place,” students delivered place of meaning speeches in their individual querencia locations.

Join us on a journey to students’ special campus spots!

Assignment description and criteria for success:


      1. In what way does your view of your querencia differ from or echo any past author’s point of view of wilderness/place/nature?
  • Lopez (Rediscovery of North America)
  • Thoreau (Brute Neighbors)
  • Dillard (Living Like Weasels)
  • Solnit (Field Guide to Getting Lost)
  1. Content is focused on ONE MOMENT OF MEANING/learning/symbolism speaker drew from Querencia experience, connected to larger themes we’ve discussed in two authors from the past two weeks.
  2. Cite 2-3 specific quotations from relevant authors that support speaker’s original ideas. Cite in end-parenthesis like this: “live deliberately” (Thoreau, 222).
  3. Begin and conclude speech in an engaging way (“hook” and conclusion)
    1. conclusion includes answer to this question:

How have you built a sense of place in your querencia? Is it important to build a sense of place? Why?


  1. Use specific details to illustrate your message
  2. Language is concise and direct – not overly flowery or overly descriptive
  3. Use correct spelling and grammar
  4. Sentence length is varied and does not include run-ons


  1. Speech lasts between 3 and 5 minutes.
  2. Speech is delivered in Querencia Location.
  3. Make eye contact
  4. Use appropriate hand gestures for emphasis
  5. Project your voice
  6. Speak clearly, intentionally and with authority/confidence (No “ums”, “uh”s, “like”s, etc)
  7. Use appropriate pauses for impact, emphasis, and pacing
  8. Stand with posture, poise and presence (not fidgeting)
  9. Dress professionally for a formal presentation

Watch students’ speeches below!

(An excerpt only)

(an excerpt only – from our local Chilean!)

In Unit 2 we will be digging into “Humans in Wilderness and the Wilderness Within,” an exploration of character and adventure through the lens of Christopher McCandless in Into the Wild.

Stay tuned!

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