A debate is an argument between two teams on one topic where each team supports one side of the argument. In other words one team will agree with the statement and the other team will disagree.
When looking at a topic you need to consider the pros and cons and make a list of both the positive and the negative points.
A class can hold a debate by having 2 teams debating the same topic. One team supports the statement and the other team opposes the statement. Students must listen carefully to the other teams arguments to be able to respond with a rebuttal or explanation that disagrees with their arguments.
Divide the class into groups of 6 students to debate this topic:
All countries should create a new national anthem every 50 years.
For each group have 3 students agree with the statement and come up with 3 main ideas or points to support the statement. The other 3 students must disagree with the statement and figure out 3 main points to oppose the statement. Each student must speak uninterrupted for a set time to explain their point (between 2 – 4 minutes). The rest of the class will be the audience and they will judge which team wins the debate with the stronger argument.
Follow this guide for each speaker:
- Speaker 1 (PRO): introduce the topic and their team and what each speaker will discuss, argue the first point
- Speaker 2 (CON): introduce the topic and their team and what each speaker will discuss, rebuttal, argue the first point
- Speaker 3 (PRO): rebuttal, second point
- Speaker 4 (CON): rebuttal, second point
- Speaker 5 (PRO): rebuttal, third point, conclude argument
- Speaker 6 (CON): rebuttal, third point, conclude argument
Debates are a great activity to practise speaking and listening and forming opinions, but most of all to have fun!!