Debating in the Senior Classes

Hi everyone,

I hope you are surviving the first week back!

Today’s blog post is for the Senior Classes, ideal for someone on Teaching Practice either. The class were working on persuasive writing before the Easter holidays, while they enjoyed these activities I felt they needed to focus their writing with a purpose. A discussion in Science naturally led to a debate among some students and I decided to cover debating at the start of Term 3.

There are lots of resources online for debating, some of them were not very suitable for my own class. Twinkl had a nice pack with some classroom resources for debating which could be used in class.

However, I really liked The Noisy Classroom for resources for debating. it outlines the structure of a debate clearly and identifies the key steps when preparing a debate.  I used the format from The Noisy Classroom in my own class to prepare for a debate. The children worked in groups of 6, 4 children were then chosen to speak in the debate. This allows some members of the group that might be shy the chance to participate in the brainstorming activities and to learn from their peers. I am hoping as the debating topic continues that these children will become more confident.

Debating is also great for oral language activities and encouraging the children to think on their feet. I really like the Rebuttal Tennis game from the Noisy Classroom. This encourages all children to participate and to think on their feet while also teaching them about rebuttals.

The Noisy Classroom has lots of videos of the children engaging in debating. I watched one with my class and they found it very interesting. They became more aware of the language to use in a debate and were introduced to the formal set up for debating. As the children become more familiar with debating they also began to analyse the videos and identify the positive and negative aspects of their speeches and debates.

The Noisy Classroom is well worth checking out for ideas and videos to support lessons on debating in the class. If you give it a try please let me know!

A.M.

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