Debate Planning (Days 1-2)

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Students will work in their assigned groups to prepare for the upcoming debates.

Big Idea

This Evidence Really Supports My Position!

Anticipatory Set

10 minutes

There is only an anticipatory set on the first of the two days I provide students with for planning. The second day is entirely reserved for the students to prepare for the following day's debates.

For this activity, I have decided to randomly assign the groups in order to eliminate as much fighting over topics and positions as I can. 

I put 5 slips of paper into the Magic Bag for each topic, so there are five 1s, five 2s, and so on. I move throughout the room and have the students draw from the bag. I do not tell them which topic is which, so they simply wait and see who else draws the same number they did. The topics are:

  1. Argument Card_Act 1 Should Zoos Be Banned?
  2. Argument Card_Act 2 Should Mobile Phones Be Banned In Schools?
  3. Argument Card_Act 3 Should Smoking Be Banned In Public?
  4. Argument Card_Act 4 Should Dogs Be Banned From Parks?
  5. Argument Card_Act 5 Do Circuses Still Need Animal Acts?
  6. Argument Card_Act 6 Should Girls Be Allowed To Play Football On Mixed Teams In Secondary School (High School)
  7. Argument Card_Act 7 Should All People Go To College?

Once everyone has drawn, I have the students get into their groups and I pass out the argument cards to them based on the number they drew. I then provide them the remainder of that ten minutes to determine who will complete each of the five tasks: moderator/announcer, pro side position, pro side rebuttal, con side position, and con side rebuttal. 


Independent Practice

90 minutes

Independent time is reserved for the groups to collaborate as they see fit in preparation for the debates. Some groups decide it is best for the two sides to work separately from one another, in order to truly demonstrate who had the strongest position and research. Other groups decide to research together, but simply not share which pieces of evidence they will focus on in their side's argument. 

As the groups are working, I am moving throughout the room, listening in on discussions and providing necessary feedback. I take the class to the computer lab to provide them adequate opportunity to do research on their respective topics. In total, over the two days, I provide the students with roughly 90 minutes to research and prepare for the debates the following two days.