Reflection: Debate Debate Time! (Days 1-2) - Section 3: Independent Practice - Debates


The area that stood out as having the most potential for growth and improvement overall was that of the students doing rebuttals in each debate. Knowing what I know now, I would spend a day or two when introducing this project simply teaching, modeling, and having the students all practice with how to prepare for and give a rebuttal. The fact of the matter is that this role requires the most of any in the debate. This person must have researched and developed a strong foundation in advance, but must also be able to make spur of the moment adjustments in order to respond most effectively to the position statement made by the opposition. It is partially planned and partially improvised. This is a very tough skill for most, regardless of age and experience. Some of my students, mostly those who went on the second day, really embraced this and had great success. Others were a bit shell-shocked and stuck to the prepared portion, which often did not respond to many of the points the opposition had presented. I think that, if we had taken just a couple of days to practice this a bit more, the students as a whole would have been more successful at this piece. At the very least, they would be better able to determine the roles each group member would take, putting each individual in the role best suited to their abilities.

All-in-all, the debates were a hit and were hugely successful and had great impact on learning and development. I think it could be even better with this additional piece of the puzzle added. 

  Debate: A-ha!
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Debate Time! (Days 1-2)

Unit 6: Debates
Lesson 3 of 3

Objective: Students will demonstrate their hard work and understanding of the assigned debate topics, following a formalized debate structure.

Big Idea: Bring It On!

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  120 minutes
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