1

Learning Lincoln On-line

FROM-- SET SIX CIVIL WAR STUDIES

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates-- Skills in speaking, thinking and self-expressions for Debating

2

LEARNING TO DEBATE
Skills in speaking, thinking and self-expressions
PRO OR CON?

        In this activity you will learn to become knowledgeable and "Open Minded" about subjects.   From there, you will research the idea, or think of as many PRO and CON sides about the subject.
         You will then be a part of a two-person team.  This team will make a list of PRO-CON viewpoints about a subject.  After making the list, you will then practice taking either or both sides of the subject and PROVE YOUR POINT!

STUDENT TASKS:

MINI (SHORT) DEBATES FOR PRACTICE
1.  Join up with a partner.  If three people are needed, then that is OK.
2.  Pull a topic slip from the box.  Two different teams will then debate each other on the topic/question. 
3.  Read the topic/question slip and then all partners are to make up two lists.   One list should say PRO at the top.  The other should say CON.
4.  The teams (partners) should then brainstorm the topic/question to come up with a list of YES we agree--  why?  Think of good reasons.  The NO list should be done also.  Sometimes a NO idea will come out when working on the YES list and likewise.  That's OK.
5.  After the lists are made and each of the partners are very familiar with the lists (try to remember them, instead of reading them), you will then go with the other team that had the same topic/question.  You will move together, with each team facing each other.  
6.  The teacher will announce that each group of teams will then start a debate over the topic/question. 
7.  Each member of the teams will be given either the PRO or CON by a flip of a coin.  Each member will have to support their viewpoint in the mini-debate.   All members should take part equally.  Follow all rules of etiquette and keep voices fairly low.  You can use "enthusiasm," "gestures," and "voice mannerisms," to help get the viewpoint across.
8.  After the mini-debates are completed the class will SELF-EVALUATE or CRITIQUE the results.
9.  Have Fun Debating!


THE BIG (LONGER) DEBATE WITH DEBATE PROCEDURAL RULES

          Debating in the classroom teaches children about varied viewpoints and opinions. They also learn to think analytically and express themselves clearly. Elementary, junior high (sometimes called middle school) and high schools use debates in the classroom, and the procedure becomes more sophisticated as the children get older. The maturity level of the students influences the debate style and expectations of the teacher.

Read more : Classroom Debates

       Debating in the classroomteaches children about varied viewpoints and opinions. They also learn to think analytically and express themselves clearly. Elementary, junior high (sometimes called middle school) and high schools use debates in the classroom, and the procedure becomes more sophisticated as the children get older. The maturity level of the students influences the debate style and expectations of the teacher.


Rules for Classroom Debates

Students learn about controversial issues in classroom debates.

        Debating in the classroom teaches children about varied viewpoints and opinions. They also learn to think analytically and express themselves clearly. Elementary, junior high (sometimes called middle school) and high schools use debates in the classroom, and the procedure becomes more sophisticated as the children get older. The maturity level of the students influences the debate style and expectations of the teacher.  

1.  Ground Rules

The debating process begins with the teacher forming a team of four students. There are specific rounds that alternate between affirmative and negative speakers. In elementary school, the rules are flexible or improvised at the teacher's discretion. At the junior high or high school level, the rules are more rigid and structured.

2.  Courtesy Rules

Students must be courteous throughout the debate. Debaters must address the judge, the opponents and the class or audience. They may not interrupt a speaker at any time.

3.  Topic Rules

The teacher writes the topic on the board for all to see. In elementary school, topics consist of simple opinions. In junior high school and high schools.

4.  Argumentation and Proof Rules

Students must bring arguments and evidence with them to the debate and must refer to them throughout. Debaters write their evidence on index cards, which must contain reliable sources.

5.   Following the Arguments

  In the upper grades, students must use a flow chart. The debaters take notes as the debate proceeds and refer to them in order to follow the arguments presented.

6.  Rules for First Affirmative Speaker

 The rule for procedure of presentations is that an affirmative debater speaks first, for eight minutes. He brings a prepared speech stating how the status quo is not working appropriately and a change is necessary. This debater has the burden of proof. He is then cross-questioned by a negative debater for three minutes.

7.  Rules for First Negative Speaker

 The first negative speaker speaks for eight minutes and tries to show that there is no need for a change as proposed by the affirmative and that the solution offered wouldn't work anyway. The first affirmative cross-questions her for three minutes.

8.  Rules for Remaining Speakers

 The second affirmative debater speaks for eight minutes. The first negative speaker then cross-examines the speaker for three minutes. The remaining speakers have a turn to speak for eight minutes and are cross-examined for three minutes by the opposition. Each speaker then gives a rebuttal of five minutes.

9.  Rule of Timing

 A student from the audience times the speakers. The rules as indicated for timing speeches and cross-examination are strictly enforced.

10.  Rules for the Judge

 The judge keeps a running account of each speaker's presentation and awards points accordingly. The judge announces the winning team.

11.  Other Styles

  Some classrooms use Lincoln-Douglas-style debates. This is a two-man debate team that alternates between affirmative and negative.

 Go to E-how.com for complete directions for debating rules


Learning to Debate Home Page

Learning On-Line Home Page