Holding a Class Debate:


1. Debate groups will consist of two students from each side of the debate: pro and con.

2. Before the debate assignment is agreed upon, understand that some individuals might be debating positions opposite to their beliefs. This is an important skill for students to learn.

3. On the day of the debate, students in the audience will utilize a blank rubric. It is your job to judge the debate objectively.

4. The debate will begin with the pro side speaking first. I will allow 5-7 minutes of uninterrupted time for this group to explain their position. Both members must participate equally.

5. Next, the con side will speak. I will again allow 5-7 minutes of uninterrupted time for this group to explain their position. Both members must participate equally.

6. Both sides will receive about three minutes to confer and prepare for rebuttal.

7. Rebuttals will begin with the con side and they will receive three minutes of speaking time. Both members must participate equally.

8. Next, the pro side will speak for rebuttal and will receive three minutes of speaking time. Both members must participate equally.

9. Audience members will provide feedback for speakers.

Possible Debate Topics:

  • Should there be corporal punishment at school?
  • Does society have the right to put someone to death?
  • Should the age to vote, smoke or drink be lowered or raised?
  • Should skateboards be allowed on sidewalks?
  • Should public school students wear uniforms to school?
  • Should animals be used for scientific experimentation?
  • Should the cafeteria offer fast food lunches?
  • Should the United States continue to spend money on space exploration?
  • Should Jim Thorpe home owners be required to recycle?

Classroom Debate Rubric