Debate any topic in your classroom using this class debate framework.
Time Required: 1 Class
- Introduce debates by producing the rubric that you will be using to grade them. For a sample rubric, please see related sites at the bottom of this page.
- A few weeks before the debate(s), give students the topic(s) to be covered.
- Have students give you an ordered list showing in which debates they prefer to participate in order of preference.
- From these lists make a debate group consisting of two students for each side of your debate: pro and con.
- Before you hand the debate assignments out, explain that some students might be debating positions opposite to their beliefs. This is an important skill for them to learn.
- On the day of the debate, give students in the 'audience' a blank rubric. Explain that it is their job to judge the debate objectively.
- Begin the debate with the pro side speaking first. Allow them 5-7 minutes of uninterrupted time to explain their position. Both members must participate equally.
- Repeat step number seven for the con side.
- Give both sides about three minutes to confer and prepare for their rebuttal.
- Begin the rebuttals with the con side and give them three minutes to speak. Both members must participate equally.
- Repeat step number 10 for the pro side.
- Possibly give extra credit to the audience for well thought out questions.