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Issue Debates

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 5 months ago

Issue Debates Sample Agenda

This template is from a larger workshop booklet by Berrien and Macomb ISDs.


Topic: This project is similar to the Issue Discussion but formalized as a debate. Take a current events topic or a challenging issue such as homelessness, terrorism, tax cuts, or an environmental issue.


Time frame: You will need a few class periods prior to the connection to prepare your presentation and a 45-60 minute videoconference.


Preparation: Teachers should pick four issues for the debate. Students at each site should be divided into two teams with each team taking one issue. Teams prepare both support and opposition. Teams must also prepare a visual in support and in opposition of the issue for display during debate. Entire class formulates questions for each issue to be asked during the 5 minute Q & A after each debate. Teachers hold a "draw" for positions (support or oppose) prior to the beginning of the debate.


Agenda: 50-70 minutes (depending on class periods of participating classes)

  • 5 min. Welcome and introductions. Each class shares their location and brief information about their school.

Visuals: Use document camera or PowerPoint to share a few local pictures of interest.

  • 50 min. Two 15 minute debates following this schedule. (The number of debates/topics could be adjusted depending on your schedule.)


  • 5 minutes for the support
  • 2 1/2 minutes for rebuttal from opposition
  • 5 minutes for opposition
  • 2 1/2 minutes for rebuttal from support
  • 5 min. for Q&A from the audience to the presenting teams.


Questions must alternate between the teams opposed and teams in support of issue.

  • 5 min. Audience at each site votes on the most persuasive/prepared team.

Then repeat the schedule for the second issue.

Visuals: Each team is required to present 1 visual aid for their position. Color cards should be available at each site for voting on most persuasive/prepared team.

  • 5 min. Debrief and Conclusion. After the discussion, teachers may wish to debrief and comment on the process and content/curriculum discussed. If time is available, students may enjoy asking each other questions about their respective locations and schools.

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