Timed Debate Student Training

This is a teaching/learning strategy. Explain to students that in this activity, they are going to have an opportunity to consider two sides of a topic using the format of a debate in small groups. While working through this activity, students will be expected to practise their active listening skills. Students will be given a topic and told what position they will debate – whether they are “for” or “against” the topic. Divide the class into groups of four. Two students (team A) will sit across the table from the other two students (team B). Each team is given a handout that outlines their side of the topic and given five minutes to prepare an argument. Each team will have 30 seconds where one partner communicates their ideas in a respectful manner while the other team attentively listens. Groups will then be given 5 minutes to develop their rebuttal statements. This will be followed by 20 second rebuttal statements given by the other partner.