Debating, Post 1

31 Jul

My older kids (ages 13 and 15) have started a study on debating and so I thought I would chronicle our studies here in case they were of benefit to others.  Insha Allah I will post links and our study plan. I hope to have my kids complete a lapbook as well. 

Now normally I probably wouldn’t have even thought about teaching about this subject, but the grammar textbook we are using, “Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition” (the book I used in high school) had a section on debating in there.  We had gotten the movie “The Great Debaters” and then I came across this section of debating in the book and thought I’d introduce the topic of debating to go along with the movie.  Once I went through the section of the book myself to put together an outline, I was pleased to find that there are many benefits of learning how to debate. Debating helps to develop thinking skills and speaking ability, develops research skills, and helps students learn to hold off on making judgments until both sides are presented. (Warriner’s)

 Education World lists many benefits of debating:

Using debates in the classroom can help students grasp many essential critical thinking and presentation skills. Among the skills classroom debates can foster are:
* abstract thinking
* analytical thinking
* citizenship/ethics/etiquette
* clarity
* cross-examination/questioning
* point of view
* distinguishing fact from opinion
* identifying bias
* language usage
* organization
* personal vs. political values
* persuasion
* public speaking
* research
* teamwork/cooperation
* many more! 


Of course debating in a homeschool environment may be a little more challenging, especially with just one student, but masha Allah I have two in the same age range so I think insha Allah we can adapt this study to homeschooling.

Basically our course of study will be (is) to read the text on debating, complete worksheets (TJ created), watch debates (videos) and participate in a debate (at home).  I hope to maybe have them debate maybe once each season and possibly have two Islamic based debates and two non Islamic based debates. I think that they will get more out of this study if we do more than just  one debate.

I wil post our outline of study and  the worksheets and reading assignments, insha Allah.  They are all based upon the text we have, but I will post it anyway because even if you are not using the text,  I am sure, Allahu ilm, some of the same information can be obtained online or at least the outline maybe of some help……

As of this writing, we have one more day of reading/assignments and then we will watch debates and then carry out one debate, insha Allah.

Here are some links to debating lesson plans for students that I came across:


Education World:

This is a nice place to start for resources relating to debating.  It has many links to other resources.


Debate Rubrics

Rubrics to assess student performance

Debate Topics

  • Ideas for Debate Topics
    Teacher-created list contains more than three dozen topics, mostly about student-centered issues  elementary or middle school level.


Debate Topics: links to dozens of resources related to such hot debatable topics as genetics ethics, gun control, the death penalty, students’ rights, and tobacco control.


  • High School Debate Topics
     resources related to debate topics that include mental health care policy, weapons of mass destruction, privacy issues, renewable energy, juvenile crime, more.


That’s it for now.  I hope, insha Allah to post our outline of study and the worksheet questions that I have created for my kids soon…………………………….

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Posted by on July 31, 2008 in Uncategorized


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