Debate Teacher Resources
Find Debate educational ideas and activities
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Tobacco in North Carolina
Fourth graders examine the depiction of North Carolina tobacco farms in several photographs. They work in small groups to prepare an argument for a class debate and create promotional signs to advertise their point of view about tobacco production.
Debating the Issues: Ralph Bunche and Civil Rights
Synthesizing information from a PBS documentary Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey, its companion website, and several other resources (links to which are provided), high schoolers evaluate whether Bunche did all he could to advance the Civil Rights Movement. They choose a side and develop their arguments for a class debate. Resource offers a model for developing a position and participating in debates about issues or current events.
Killer Games: Violence in Video Games
Widespread video gaming makes this content relevant and high interest. Developing youth awareness about the impact of violence in games is important to promote literacy, critical thinking, health, and consumer awareness. After reading and discussion, middle schoolers write persuasive essays or participate in a class debate on the issue. This resource presents a strong structure, but the attached materials are dated; substitute newer research and articles.
The Tet Offensive and the Vietnam War
Pupils comprehend how the United States became involved in what one historian called the quagmire. Students identify and analyze the importance of the Tet Offensive in turning American public opinion against the Vietnam War. Pupils identify how the Vietnam War is still a vital part of American life and culture. Students encourage active learning by holding an in-class debate between pro- and anti-war views.
Pros and Cons: A Childcare Debate
Students research prevailing attitudes and Rousseau's position on child rearing in the 18th century. They consider attitudes toward motherhood and childcare in our own culture through interviews with peers and family members.
Don't Fence Me In
Ensure that your class has a well-rounded understanding of new inventions, in this case barbed wired. Class members, after researching the history and development of barbed wire, assess its impact on cattle and the development of the West. In addition, they research the range wars and set up a class debate by role playing cowboys from cattle companies, and farmers or settlers who want the build fences. Practice mathematical skills using fences as inspiration and play a game that simulates cattle trying to escape. The resource lists many standards, but you might focus in on a few in order to encourage depth of understanding.
Fast Food and Daily Nutrition Choices
Students explore food. In this nutrition lesson, students investigate multiple facets of healthy eating and how the fast food industry impacts our society. They will participate in class discussions, read from their text-book, and watch a fast food documentary. This lesson includes assignments for a persuasive essay and a class debate, resource links for research, and worksheets.
Students consider how people of color and minority culture are represented in video games. After debating the issue as representatives of various interest groups, students reflect on their personal feelings regarding this issue.
Pharmaceuticals and Treatments
Students perform an experiment involving reverse transcriptase-polymerized chain reaction HIV replication to better examine the biotechnology used by scientists in pharmaceutical research of infections diseases like HIV. Students examine the roles of business and ethics in the discovery and distributions of such drugs by assuming the role of drug corporation, non-profit company, legal annalist, and international health organization in a class debate.
Young scholars demonstrate their knowledge of past, present and future pandemics. They create timeline for the spread of Influenza Pandemic of 1918. They discuss parallels between outbreaks of influenza and bird flu.
Young scholars identify relationships between scientific concepts and their historical roots. They discuss and debate issues of ethics in science, specifically on the concept of genetic engineering and describe the processes of cloning and genetic engineering.
2nd Amendment: The Right to Bear Arms
Students examine the Second Amendment. In this U.S. Constitution lesson plan, students watch a discovery video regarding the right to bear arms as they research gun control and gun rights to prepare for a classroom debate.
Touching the Void Debate
A straightforward learning exercise that is best suited for the film Touching the Void when viewed in conjunction with either the film or text of Life of Pi. The document moves learners through active viewing questions for the film, and into a class debate where they discuss characters' conflicts, the survival aspects between the endings of Pi and Void, and whether or not the debaters agree with greatest fear of Joe Simpson. There is very little room for modification, but it is well suited for the specific films and or texts.
Coral Bleaching: Making Our Oceans Whiter
Students learn what coral reefs are and about the different types of reefs, the ecology surrounding these biological playgrounds, and the human impact on them.
The Great Debate: Internationalists vs. Isolationists
Learners examine the opposing arguments of the isolationists and internationalists in 1941. In this debate lesson, the students are divided into two opposing groups representing a position in a live, in- class debate. After the debate, learners also examine an interactive and are required to write a summative five paragraph essay justifying the point of view of each opposing argument
The 2nd Amendment: The Right To Bear Arms
Students consider both sides of the gun control debate. In this gun control lesson, students research the stance of the 2 sides of the debate and then participate in their own classroom debate on the topic.
The President's Cabinet: Choosing the Right Person for the Job
Students examine the Federal Confirmation Process for filling cabinet members by completing a confirmation process flow chart. They research the process, and participate in a mock Confirmation Process.
Debating the Depression
Twelfth graders discover how to debate important social issues in a civil manner. They explain the importance of knowledge in public discourse.
Students explore the boycott of the 1980 Olympics by the United States. In this Olympic boycott instructional activity, students conduct research to identify the reasons behind the boycott as well as opinions regarding the boycott. Students participate in a class debate about the boycott.
THE FEDERAL CONFIRMATION PROCESS: CHOOSING THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB
Students analyze the process whereby presidential appointees are confirmed.