For Cell Phones or Against? Preparing for Debate

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SWBAT work in small groups or "debate teams" to prepare material for a debate in the next lesson.

Big Idea

Our debate teams will work together to prepare points they would like to present in a debate in the next lesson.


Forming Debate Teams

15 minutes

This is the first year of tried to implement debates into our curriculum. The reason I have started is because debates and engaging way to allow students to practice the speaking and listening CCSS.  In our previous lesson, we wrote an opinion piece on whether kids should have their own cell phones.  Today we will form debate teams, further our research, and prepare for a class debate.


I will have those students who wrote their opinion essays in favor of students owning cell phones sit on one side of the room.  The students have developed their opinion essays opposing students owning cell phones will sit on the other side of the room.  I will then have that students divide themselves into groups of three on their side of the room. This will be their debate team.  

iPad Research

30 minutes

In the previous lesson, students read an article about kids owning cell phones. They then wrote an opinion piece about whether or not they felt students should own cell phones. We're going to expand upon this knowledge base by further researching the pros and cons of students owning cell phones.

I will have the students use the IDEA (International Debate Education Association) website where it discusses the pros and cons of children owning mobile phones.  I will encourage the teams to look at both sides of the issue to come fully prepared for the debate.   


Helling, A. (2013). Every child should have a mobile phone. (Junior). IDEA. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from 

Preparing Points for the Debate

20 minutes

Now that the students have expanded their knowledge base through the iPad research, I will give each student a large index card.  The debate teams to work together and talk about the main points they would like to discuss in the debate which will be held during our next lesson. Each student will write one of those main points on their large index card.  Each person on the debate team should have a different written on their card. These will be the points brought up in our debate. Once they have the main point written on the card, they will then need to add details that support that main point. After working together today, each debate team should be prepared to face off opposing team in our class debate in the next lesson.