No Series: Using Debate to Develop Thinking & Speaking Skills

ELA.WHST.9-10.1a

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • WHST:  Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects 6-12
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 1a: 
    Write arguments focused on discipline-specific
    content.

    a. Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the
    claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims,
    and create an organization that establishes
    clear relationships among the claim(s),
    counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.


    b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly,
    supplying data and evidence for each while
    pointing out the strengths and limitations
    of both claim(s) and counterclaims in a
    discipline-appropriate form and in a manner
    that anticipates the audienceâ\x80\x99s knowledge
    level and concerns.

    c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the
    major sections of the text, create cohesion,
    and clarify the relationships between claim(s)
    and reasons, between reasons and evidence,
    and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

    d. Establish and maintain a formal style and
    objective tone while attending to the norms
    and conventions of the discipline in which they
    are writing.

    e. Provide a concluding statement or section
    that follows from or supports the argument
    presented.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

|
ELA.WHST.9-10.1b

Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • WHST:  Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects 6-\x80\x9312
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 1b: 
    Write arguments focused on discipline-specific
    content.

    a. Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the
    claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims,
    and create an organization that establishes
    clear relationships among the claim(s),
    counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

    b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly,
    supplying data and evidence for each while
    pointing out the strengths and limitations
    of both claim(s) and counterclaims in a
    discipline-appropriate form and in a manner
    that anticipates the audience'\x80\x99s knowledge
    level and concerns.


    c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the
    major sections of the text, create cohesion,
    and clarify the relationships between claim(s)
    and reasons, between reasons and evidence,
    and between claim(s) and counterclaims.

    d. Establish and maintain a formal style and
    objective tone while attending to the norms
    and conventions of the discipline in which they
    are writing.

    e. Provide a concluding statement or section
    that follows from or supports the argument
    presented.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Using Debate to Develop Thinking & Speaking Skills

Lesson Objective: Students engage in rigorous debate about privatizing social security
Grades 9-12 / History / Economics
6 MIN
ELA.WHST.9-10.1a | ELA.WHST.9-10.1b

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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How does the debate structure ensure a rigorous experience?
  2. How does Ms. Laudin encourage students to understand both claims and counterclaims based on evidence?
  3. How could you incorporate debates to enhance rigor and engagement?

18 Comments

  • Private message to Barbara Pope

Well done! Again this is such a positive way to get students to not just get interested in current events, but use their own research to intelligently debate important issues, and get feedback during the post-debate. What a great tie in.

Recommended (0)
  • Private message to andrew patmon

I think debate is a great idea for teachers to use. I believe it actually gets the students to learn the information rather than memorize answers for a worksheet. This will keep the students engaged and interested in the class also as students love competition. It also teaches them how to have a healthy disagreement with another peer without it turning into something negative. It helps them learn how to be able to stand in front of people and help them understand their point. She makes them know not only about their topic but in order to win the argument they have to know about their opponents topic also which makes them tie it all together.

Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Mark Arnold
Do you have a copy of the debate rubric? Love the rigor in this assignment! Email me marnold@brownsburg.k12.in.us. Thanks!
Recommended (0)
  • Private message to kimberly Chambers
Ms. Laudin, did you provide a rubric to your students?
Recommended (1)
  • Private message to Courtney Doyland
Preparing students for debate is a complex endeavor; seeing it done by a rigorous and thoughtful instructor demonstrates the rewards of the process through students’ attainment of knowledge and professional skills. This video exemplifies the relevance of several Common Core Standards as they blend into the essential leaning objectives of the lesson. First, in drafting their arguments, students evidently preform considerable research. Here, textual evidence is cited to support their analysis of an issue to persuade audiences of their claims (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.1). Students equally demonstrate the evaluation of multiple sources to best support their position while identifying the textual uncertainties of their researched arguments (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.3). Debate, by nature, requires students to evaluate authors’ differing perspectives on an issue. Here, students develop their positions by identifying persuasive claims that best fit their position through emotion, reasoning and evidence (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.6). Finally, in preparation for rebuttal, students research contrasting sources to strengthen their original claims while debunking the oppositions’ stance on the issue (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.6). In addition, this video demonstrates the power of using visual aids in reinforcing the speakers’ presentation of evidence. Such tools allow the speaker to articulate his or her point without a set script and to illustrate to the audience, based on evidence, the legitimacy of their arguments.
Recommended (0)

Transcripts

  • 01:00:00 Title Open
    01:00:04 LAUDIN: My name is Riza Laudin, and I teach at Herricks High School and I teach

    01:00:00 Title Open
    01:00:04 LAUDIN: My name is Riza Laudin, and I teach at Herricks High School and I teach and I teach economics and AP Macroeconomics
    01:00:09 LAUDIN: OK what I want to do now is our debate. The topic today is social security should be privatized.
    01:00:21 LAUDIN: Back at the first week of school I tell the students that there is going to be a debate schedule and I print up fourteen debates that I’d like them to do. And they’re told the framework and that they have to do research, and that it’s a debate. And by debate I mean that I don’t want them to have scripted speeches. Once I pick the topics, then the students are told that they should pick a partner and they are to pick two debates that they want to do. The debates are constantly changing based on what topics we do in class and the relevant news.
    01:01:06 LAUDIN: They are then told they’re going to have five minute introduction for pro and then a five minute introduction for con.
    01:01:13 BOY 1: It’s no doubt that social security was once a noble idea and still is to an extent, However, um, it’s unsustainable. By the time 2021 rolls around the program will be 118 billion dollars in debt.
    01:01:26 LAUDIN: My overall goal for my students in AP macro is to be life-long learners. I want them to be aware of what’s going on, to read papers, to be able to discuss things, to have a, uh, an innate curiosity and to follow through on it.
    01:01:41 GIRL 1: Privatizing these companies would make it so that these companies are going to want to make a profit off of this. Social security’s something that’s supposed to help people when they retire; you can’t put a profit price on that.
    01:01:53 LAUDIN: We just started the intro to macroeconomics and the whole idea of the economy as a whole. So this topic, while not exactly related to GDP, it’s related to the macro economy.
    01:02:05 BOY 1: The system will be fine for about another ten years, because the government invested some of the money that people paid into social security and got interest. So that interest will continue to fund the system until about 2025. Uh, once 2025 rolls around, we’re in trouble. Because in 2025 interest is no longer enough and taxes are no longer enough.
    01:02:30 LAUDIN: And that’s one of the main reasons why I do have the debates because I think that is the skill that we are the weakest in teaching students. I think if you’re going to make it in the world the most important thing are your oral and verbal skills.
    01:02:44 GIRL 2: Over the next 47 years, privatization will reduce the 2005 benefit level by 44%. It would cut out benefits like disabilities and survivors.
    01:02:53 LAUDIN: They use graphs, pictures, political cartoons, and it helps, I think, especially, make the debate come alive.
    01:03:06 LAUDIN: To prepare for the rebuttal, I will tell them that they should research the other side so that they know their position and so they know what kinds of questions they should be prepared to ask.
    01:03:17 BOY 1: You want that ratio to be as high as possible. Because if there’s 500 people paying into social security for every one person taking out, they’re obviously going to have a ton of extra money. But as soon as you approach one to one you lose the ability to save and therefore invest and make a profit on that money. Even for the trust fund in general.
    01:03:33 GIRL 1:If you increase the retirement age, you’re going to have less people taking out the benefits and more people paying in because if there’s more people working obviously they’re going to have- more people, more taxes and more money to come in.
    01:03:46 LAUDIN: While the debate’s going on, I will mark down, so for example, excellent use of statistics, spent a good deal of time against social security but not necessarily supporting privatization. When the rebuttal was going on I was giving a check to whoever I felt scored the point.
    01:04:03 BOY 1: If you’re talking about, oh, eventually in 2070, or whatever, we’ll have to raise the retirement age to 85 because people are living to 115 – an 85-year-old can’t do the same kind of work or for the same amount of time as a 65- even a 65-year-old could.
    01:04:17 LAUDIN: I also tell them that they should take notes while the other side it talking if there are additional things they want to bring up resulting from the notes.
    01:04:25 GIRL 1: But also as we get better medical technology, people are healthier at older ages.
    01:04:30 BOY 1: We need people to retire to make new jobs in this market.
    01:04:33 LAUDIN: Can we focus on privatization? I mean you’re doing a nice job on social security, but let’s key in on specifically why there are there are problems with privatization or why it’s the wonderful option.
    01:04:45 LAUDIN: I think you’re going to have to do proposals, presentations, and what better training than to be able to think on your feet.

    01:04:58 LAUDIN: And then the class gets to ask questions and what’s fun is the class really gets into it. The only thing is they want to debate but I try to limit it just to the students that are debating and that they can ask questions.
    01:05:10 BOY 1: We showed that social security is honest to goodness an unsustainable system that has to be repaired or modified. Outside of even just like this debate we think that it’s a very important issue in general because it’s actually our future that’s on the line.
    01:05:23 GIRL 2: I mean we had a general idea of what they were going to say, but we definitely could have prepared more for that.
    01:05:29 LAUDIN: Now they can start using their economic knowledge of supply and demand, the economy, what government policies can be, and they can, they can debate an in issue using the economic knowledge with their research skills and develop cohesive and persuasive arguments.
    01:05:48 CREDITS

School Details

Herricks High School
100 Shelter Rock Road
New Hyde Park NY 11040
Population: 1338

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Teachers

Riza Laudin

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