finding a topic
Finding a topic may be one of the hardest parts when organizing a debate. Sometimes, you choose to organize a debate because you came across a suitable topic, in which case you can skip this step.
But if not, keep in mind, the topic does not have to be directly related to the syllabus. In fact, it's better if the topic doesn't entirely revolve around the syllabus, as this would give the students a chance to explore different ideas, relating to various subjects, giving them a deeper understanding of a topic.
For example, in our pilot debate in a physics classroom, the students were learning about electricity and magnetism. Our topic for this debate was "Can electromagnetic power replace fossil fuels?", and students learned about what was in their syllabus, while also making connections to economics, and the environment.
In case you can't find a topic like this, you can also conduct a simple discussion on the pros and cons of a matter. This will also enrich the students understanding of the topic.
The second part of organizing a debate is creating a newsletter, containing the debate guides. To use the newsletter templates below, you just need to click on the button, and edit the newsletter as you like. We recommend that you leave the last page as it is, as it contains useful and handmade debate guides which cover all the information the students will need.
Each newsletter is designed to contain some basic information about the topic, some links and articles that you recommend the students read, to help with research, some focus points, and finally, the debate guides. The templates are already filled with information (which can be changed), that will help you get an idea as to what to write there.
Lastly, once you are done filling the newsletter, share it with the class as a Canva link (click the "share" button, and copy the link that allows the student to view the newsletter), rather than a PDF, so that all the links and videos work.
In order to view more newsletters, click
newsletters and guides
The guides are the YouTube videos at the end of each newsletter template. These have been handmade by us, based on well-researched information and our own prior knowledge. There are a total of five of these, which cover different aspects of the debate.
Most of them are pretty self explanatory, like research tips and the speaker's rubric. The role of the moderators talks about what the student moderators have to do during the debate. The online policy puts forward some important rules and regulations to keep in mind while debating. Given below are links to all the guides, if you want to check them out.