You can teach debate.

Critical thinking, language, and teamwork skills can be developed by learning how to debate.It is possible to teach debate in a series of lessons.Provide examples of effective and unsuccessful debaters.Divide students into teams and give them time to research and make arguments.It is time to conduct a structured, timed debate.Ask students to think about the qualities that make a debater convincing and engaging after the debate. Step 1: Define debate as a series of formal arguments. Explain that a debate shouldn't be a free-for-all.Let your students know that a debate is a structured clash of ideas.Gut feelings, personal attacks, and opinions should not be used in arguments. Step 2: Rules for courtesy and tone need to be established. Students should listen attentively to the opposing side.Encourage them to speak with passion, but tell them not to insult the opposing side.Inform students that they should only speak when it's their turn and stick to time limits if you plan on conducting a structured, timed debate. Step 3: Do you know your expected learning outcomes? Explain how debate hones skills such as critical thinking, language arts, and teamwork at the beginning of the lesson.Discuss your expectations with your students as you grade their debate performance.Critical thinking skills are improved by research, analyzing sources and forming an argument.The criteria could beGathered 3 to 5 credible, relevant sources orFormed a rational, well-supported argument.If you have assigned a debate team, the criteria could be as follows: Completed oral and written assignments with no spelling or grammar errors, presented statements clearly and audibly, and followed debate format and stayed within time limits. Step 4: Ask students to evaluate debate video clips. You can use clips of debates between politicians.Debaters who lose their cool, merely list facts, and provide engaging, well-crafted arguments are examples that should be included.Students are asked to write short reflection papers or fill out an evaluation handout after playing clips.Which strategies made one debater more effective than another?How did debaters support claims?Do you think it is more important to list evidence or to speak with an interesting, engaging, and confident tone? Step 5: It is important to stress the importance of research. Discuss how the best debaters are knowledgeable about their topics after providing debate examples.They gather research, cite credible sources, and support their opinions with facts.Compare debaters who haven't done their research with successful examples.You can show a clip of a politician who talks in order to avoid an unfamiliar topic or when they don't want to commit to a position.A debater who quotes a reliable source but takes it out of context is a good choice.They might say that further research is needed, but that the new treatment is always and absolutely effective. Step 6: Discuss how to make an argument. While supporting a claim with evidence is essential, a good debater doesn't just list facts.Tell them that an argument has a thesis, which concisely summarizes its claims, and weaves together evidence in a logical, engaging manner.An example argument can be broken down into three parts: a thesis or claim, a summary and logical reasoning.The thesis is "Public lands should not be transferred to state or private control."Examining legal precedence will show that public land transfers are not legal.State taxes and negative effects on wildlife make land transfers economically and environmentally undesirable.The Constitution's Property Clause could be covered by the first statement on legal precedence.It could look at the fact that giving up land was a condition of statehood.How much it would cost a state to manage newly acquired land could be covered in the next statement.If states were to sell land for private development, the environmental impacts could be focused on. Step 7: There is an engaging topic. You need to assign a debate topic for students to research and make arguments.Pick a topic that will engage students without being mean.Some topics might be, "Should schools implement dress codes," or "Do electronic devices affect child development." Step 8: Students will be divided into for and against sides. In smaller settings, you could allow students to pick their own side and still have both positions represented.It is easier to assign positions to students in larger groups.You can assign around 4 students to a debate team.If you are teaching a class of 20 to 30 students, choose multiple debate topics and choose 2 teams to debate each topic. Step 9: Each student will be assigned a specific role. Students can be assigned to debate roles such as opening and closing statements.They could divide their statements among themselves.You can assign the first student to make the opening statement, the second to give a rebuttal to the opposing statement and the third to present further evidence if you divide the students into 4 groups.There are challenges for each role.The opening and closing statements need to establish the scope of the argument.The evidence presented in the heart of the debate must be convincing.The team needs to think on their feet in order to refute the other side's claims. Step 10: Students should get at least 3 to 5 authoritative sources. Students should have at least 2 to 3 days to conduct research.Good sources include scholarly articles, government websites, and medical journals.They should be told to look for facts and data that support their position.A summary of a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court is authoritative but not a credible source.Debaters use quotes, facts, and figures on cards to reference during the debate.You can allow students to use argument outlines with quotes and data. Step 11: An argument outline or position paper can be assigned. Students should organize their arguments after gathering sources.Each team should come up with an argument outline that summarizes their claim, roadmap, and support.Each student should create an outline for their statement.The opening statement should be written out or an outline of its key points.Older students might benefit from assigning a position paper or a more formal writing assignment. Step 12: Explain the debate format to the students. Keeping track of time will help you maintain an orderly debate.Classical debate, public forum structure, and other formats are available.When teaching debate to beginners, a modified classical debate format is usually the best choice.Both sides make timed statements and rebuttals before each making a closing statement. Step 13: Teams can present opening statements and rebuttals. The opening statements last 6 minutes in classical debate.If you want to lighten students' loads, set opening statements to 2 to 3 minutes.The side in favor goes first, then the side against makes a rebuttal at 1 minute.The side in favor issues their rebuttal after the opposing side makes its opening statement. Step 14: Students can present and rebutting evidence. Each team makes timed statements that support their claim and refute the opposing argument after opening statements and rebuttals.Each side has 4 to 6 minutes to make a statement or rebuttal.Students should be given 2 to 3 minutes to make each statement in order to squeeze multiple debates in a single class period.Students should be given 30 seconds to a minute in between statements to organize rebuttals to the other team's argument. Step 15: Both sides should present closing statements. The side in favor summarizes their argument first.The side objected to the closing statement.Give each team 30 seconds to make adjustments before they make their closing statements. Step 16: The students must evaluate the debate. If you think it's appropriate, assign a winner and discuss it as a group.Students should reflect on the importance of making a clear, well-reasoned, and well supported argument in order to understand the concept of formal debate.They should write a brief reflection or fill out an evaluation handout for homework.What are some qualities that make a debater effective?How could the teams improve their arguments?How important is it to follow the debate format's rules?

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