Let’s Have a Debate


ELAR-Grade-5 Non-fiction Texts Let’s Have a Debate
Students work in groups on a debate topic. Each group subdivides into teams for and against the topic. Teams research the debate topic in order to plan their initial speech and rebuttal. Teams listen to and address the opposing team’s speech in order to adequately address the arguments made. The students not participating in the debate listen and take notes so they may ask the teams questions as needed. The audience votes on which team presented a more convincing argument.

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

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Here are the teacher pack items for Let’s Have a Debate:

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Overview

In this experience, students work in groups on a debate topic. Each group subdivides into teams for and against the topic. Teams research the debate topic in order to plan their initial speech and rebuttal. Teams listen to and address the opposing team’s speech in order to adequately address the arguments made. The students not participating in the debate listen and take notes so they may ask the teams questions as needed. The audience votes on which team presented a more convincing argument.

Divide students into groups of 4 or 6 people (if possible), so that both the for and against teams have the same number of participants. If you have an odd number of students, you can have two students split presentation of the initial team position, or you can pair a strong student with an ELL student to work together.

The student posts throughout the experience enable you to track student progress and to ensure that the students have divided up the work appropriately. As students work with their teams, monitor their progress and intervene when necessary.

Objectives

  • Work with a group to prepare a debate.
  • Research facts to plan a debate speech arguing a position.
  • Use good speaking skills to present a position.
  • Listen actively to evaluate speeches given by classmates.

Duration

Two class periods for preparation; 3 debates per class period for presentation. Encourage students to practice their speeches outside of class.


Think about the last time you were asked to give your opinion about something. Giving your opinion is easy, but offering reasons and support for that opinion can be difficult. In order to persuade someone else to support your position, you need to provide strong reasons and evidence. In this experience, you will work with a team to debate a topic against an opposing team. You will try to convince the audience to agree with your position. You will collaborate with your team to organize your speeches and plan what the other side might argue and how to prove their side wrong.

Objectives

  • Work with a group to prepare a debate.
  • Research facts to plan a debate speech arguing a position.
  • Use good speaking skills to present a position.
  • Listen actively to evaluate speeches given by classmates.


Cartoon of man and woman debating

Was Cinderella wrong to sneak out of the house and attend the ball even though her stepmother said she couldn’t go? As you write your response, be prepared to answer those who disagree with you.


Explain whether you think Cinderella made the right decision or not. Be prepared to support your opinion. 

Post your answer

Discuss student responses. As each additional student shares an opinion, be sure they address a point made by the classmate before them.

If your students are new to the concept of debating, review the general steps at each opportunity during the planning stages, so that the students have a clear understanding of the goals of each step.


You and your classmates just engaged in a mini-debate. In order to support your opinion, you needed to address the opinions presented by your classmates. In this experience, you will learn more about debates and how to present an argument with strong support.


Divide students into their small groups. Assign each group a different debate topic.

Some possible topics are:

  • Fidget spinners should be banned in schools.
  • Children should be granted unlimited access to video games.
  • Exotic animals should be sold in pet stores.
  • Parents should be able to take their children out of class for family vacations.
  • Students should be taught to write cursive handwriting.
  • Plastic bags should be banned at store checkouts.
  • Students should have assigned seats in the cafeteria.
  • Restaurants should be allowed to ban small children from entering.
  • Students should be required to volunteer in community activities.

When everyone is ready to continue, unlock the next scene.


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