Classroom Debate

Students select a debate topic, organize pro/con teams, conduct research, plan arguments, and carry out a classroom debate.


S&L6: Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.


Estimated timeframe:

Activity steps

  1. This activity draws on opens in a new window Education World’s More Resources for Classroom Debates, especially opens in a new window An Introduction to Classroom Debates and opens in a new window Debate Roles and Rules. Brainstorm and select a debate topic with your students.
  2. Follow the opens in a new window Introduction to Classroom Debates: Have students form FOR and AGAINST teams, select a team captain, assign team roles, and begin planning for the debate. Allow time for students to research the topic online and/or in a library.
  3. After students have conducted their research, allow time for FOR and AGAINST teams to discuss their finding and plan their debate arguments. Introduce the opens in a new window Debate Roles and Rules: Be sure groups have time to assign their opening, argument, rebuttal, and closing speakers.
  4. Remind students to use formal discourse. Conduct the debate. Facilitate by keeping time; assess students’ speaking and argument skills informally (or do so formally using one of the scoring tools discussed by opens in a new window Education World).

Workforce readiness skills

opens in a new window External Resources
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