Debate Teacher Resources

Find Debate educational ideas and activities

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Students examine the issues surrounding Gulf War Syndrome. In groups, they analyze evidence from the war and medical information. They participate in a debate in which they support their feelings on whether the government of the United States tried to hide this issue from the Americacn public. To end the lesson, they read articles from veterns who suffer from the disease.
Ostensibly about the 1955-1965 Civil Rights Movement, this resource is actually the first of a series of 24 lessons that model for learners how to examine multiple perspectives, as well as the evidence used to support a particular stance. An additional exercise has pairs practice developing discussions by offering arguments for and against the basic question, "Should school be a place for debate?" All the resources in the series follow the same pattern: a debatable topic is introduced; arguments for and against the question are presented; links to evidence for both sides of the issue are included; and a pair-share exercise has pairs practice building an argument. Consider using these resources weekly as a skill-building activity.
Students examine and discuss the concept of stage fright. They demonstrate positive debate techniques, constructively critique other speakers, and implement debate techniques for a practice debate.
Examine several key issues covered in the October 8, 2004, presidential debate between George W. Bush and John Kerry. Young readers analyze the opponents' use of both fact and opinion in their arguments. Use the lesson to reinforce the importance of acknowledging opposing claims in writing.
High schoolers take a medical issue and explore it, debate it, and convince others of their point of view. They improve research skills and writing skills. Students are able to define a problem, debate it, and identify which is the best argument are all skills that can help in medical or life decisions.
Learners, in groups, research and prepare a debate regarding various bioethical situations. After the debates, each student prepares a ortfolio outlining their own personal opinions.
Good debate topics are hard to find. Some of the best emerge from what is being taught. (For example, while studying WWII, one could ask if the United States should have bombed Japan.) Others are more student-centered, like why do we have a dress code? Once a topic is selected, the real work begins. This resource outlines the procedure for setting up a successful debate with particular attention paid to how to support a stance.
After researching recent community or political issues, paired with a review of proper debate format, class members select a topic, adopt a side, and prepare for a debate. The value in this resource is the review of debate procedures, the assessment tools, and extensions. Web links are included.
Should the student population wear uniforms to school? Pupils express whether they strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree with a controversial statement, moving to a designated corner of the room to indicate their stance. They discuss their positions within like-minded groups and present reasons to the class. Finally each class member crafts a paragraph defending their position. Link to debate topics, included, leads to a host of other debate-supportive resources. 
Arranged in facing concentric circles, half the class discusses an issue. The other half of the class takes notes which are then used to fuel a class discussion and to prepare editorial opinions on the topic at hand. So much emphasis is placed on listening here. Links to other debate formats and topics for discussion are included. 
Students prepare for and hold a classroom debate via typed text on a literary topic. Two groups conduct an iChat debate using iChat AV software to document the debate as it happens. Pupils conduct a post-debate analysis of the debate an iChat text transcript.
Students analyze the effects of Shays' Rebellion. In this Shays' Rebellion activity, students listen to their instructor present a lecture regarding the details of the rebellion and the events that led to it. Students respond to discussion questions and participate in a debate activity regarding Daniel Shays.
Tenth graders analyze an issue discussing the rights of citizens. They debate after they have formed an opinion and argue the points and evaluate who had the stronger argument.
Students, in groups, complete a WebQuest titled "Love Canal Debate". They follow the WebQuest to research and write papers on different points of view regarding the Love Canal environmental disaster.
Students examine both sides of arguments surrounding given debates. They use the internet and other research to collect information to support their stand on the controversial issue. Students debate their chosen topic. This lesson plans lists 31 different debate topics which include, but are not limited to, war, vegetarians, income tax, military, cloning, global warming, space travel, suicide and more.
Fifth graders investigate the importance of government by conducting a debate.  In this U.S. Government lesson, 5th graders utilize their classroom as the setting for a two sided debate based on whether government is essential to a country or not.  Students create a list of pros and cons about their own government.
It is very easy to access creative work online, and some individuals are not aware of all the rules that accompany using someone else's original work. Show your class the difference between inspiration and using without permission. The plan includes a video link, a terminology review, a debate activity where groups role play, wrap-up questions, extension activities, and an assessment with an answer key.
Set your environmental studies class up to debate a current topic regarding your choice of six suggested statements about energy use in the United States. Teams read material that you have gathered and then form their arguments. The lesson outline explains the benefits of holding a classroom debate and provides a procedure. Though the reading material for the teams is not provided, the six suggested statements are pertinent to global concerns, so it should be easy to locate related reading material. 
Are states prohibited or permitted by the wording of the Constitution to leave the Union? After analyzing the decisions of selected Supreme Court cases and other primary source documents, spark discussion and debate with your class on this fascinating topic.
Was the atomic bombing of Japan ethical? After crafting a personal journal response to the question, class members are assigned a position and provided with primary source documents that prepare them to engage in a "Structured Academic Controversy." At the conclusion of the debate, individuals revisit their initial stance, and using evidence from the source material, craft a formal position paper on the question.

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