Ages: 4th – 6th grade
Dates: February 7 – May 1 (no class on 3/27, 5/8 make up day in the event of a teacher absence)
Time: 10:00am – 10:55am
Debate class will be structured to personalize for students based on experience, grade level, and
interests. ALL are welcome and encouraged, and ALL will be successful.
The skills your students will learn during Debate will be invaluable!
They will learn to structure arguments based on evidence, not just opinion, listen to others, articulate
their thoughts, speak more confidently in public, and think critically.
They will learn new terminology, a new format for listening and speaking, and how to incorporate
evidence into their arguments. The more students practice, the more confident and articulate they will
Students will be asked to argue FOR and AGAINST their own current perspectives, interests, and
opinions. This helps build empathy and understanding of all perspectives.
They will learn the debate format and debate etiquette, as well. Assessment will stem from skills such as
organization, preparedness, reliable cited sources and strength of argument and evidence, as well as
presentation skills such as volume, eye contact, rate, and tone)
● Each session we start with a physical or verbal warm up / followed by building
foundational knowledge we will watch videos or listen to audio of well known speech or
debate, in order to identify key terms, techniques, styles, and to get inspired.
● Also, each session we will be on our feet engaged in and participating in speech and
debate, as well as offering feedback as an audience.
● This is a hand’s on, discussion based, action oriented elective. Most research will
happen at home.
2/7 #1 Driving Question: What is Debate?
Essential Question: How does debate differ from arguments?
This is meant to be an introductory lesson to just get the kids talking in
class and beginning to argue in public.
Students will engage in impromptu debates, identifying and refining as
2/14 #2 Driving Question: What is Argument?
Learn the basic elements of argument.
Define claim, data, warrant, impact
Watch a commercial to identify the various elements of an argument, and
finally, will begin to create their own arguments using claim, data, warrant,
Ethos, Pathos, Logos Video
2/21 #3 Recognizing Arguments
Essential Question 1 – What are the components of an argument?
Essential Question 2 – How do journalists use arguments to inform
Essential Question 3 – How does the intended audience influence
the crafting of arguments?
Students will explore how arguments are constructed in news articles and
how they are used to inform and persuade their target audiences. They
will read, find elements of argument structure, annotate their articles, and
then share the information gained with peers in guided questioning.
2/28 #4 Affirmative Argument / Negative Argument
Students will use the discussions from the past few sessions to begin
brainstorming affirmative and negative arguments. By the end of the class
period they should have 3-5 affirmative and negative arguments to use.
3/6 #5 Research and Reliable Resources
Driving Question: How do I research?
Essential: Students will begin by reviewing different types of research
(Internet search engine and database) and then learn about the place of
research in debate. Additionally, they will work through the process of
researching using databases.
3/13 #6 Introduction to Debate Team
Debate Team Format and Structure
Debate Sample Video
Students will be presented with a series of topics and then generate
complete cases (three arguments in a logical sequence) to defend their
position in a short amount of time.
Students can practice impromptu speaking, a vital skill in debate rounds
and in life.
3/20 #7 Presentation and Showmanship
Judges often tune out speeches full of good ideas because the speaker
failed to engage and hold their attention. There are a variety of factors
that constitute good delivery, especially in debate.
Become aware of their issues concerning their verbal delivery.
Practice word economy and pre-planning as an alternative to speed.
Become aware of their issues concerning non-verbal cues in their
Learn how to maintain control in cross-examination
AFTER spring break we will turn this course into DEBATE TEAM!
4/3 #8 Review – Argument
Debate Team – Prep and Rehearsal
4/10 #9 Review – Research and Reliable Resources
Debate Team – Prep and Rehearsal
4/17 #10 Review – Presentation and Showmanship
Debate Team – Final Rehearsal
4/24 #11 Formal Debate #1
5/1 #12 Formal Debate #2
Minimum class size: 6
Maximum class size: 25