As some of you may know, I teach a debate class to teenagers through our local homeschool co-op. I have a great time doing it and I want to share with you how easy it truly is.
I use The Art of Argument as my spine. Each class we learn about and discuss a few fallacies. It averages out to 3 per class. We keep those discussions short and simple. Sometimes we watch sections of the videos as a group.
Some of the enrichment activities we have done are:
- act out fallacies
- find magazine advertisements with fallacies
- create our own print ad fallacy
- debate on fun and serious topics
I am pretty sure that everyone’s favorite part of the class is the debating part of it.
After all, they are teenagers who like to argue.
We use simple debate topics that I get from searching the web. Mainly I search “debate topics for kids”. With these smaller ones, we do individual debates rather then team debates. I give them about 15 minutes to prepare and then they get 3 minutes each to argue their side.
Sometimes I read them debates out a a book 50 debate prompts for kids.
We have done 1 big team debate and will have one more team debate. Our first one was on should algebra be required in high school and our next one will be a silly one on which came first? the chicken or the egg.
Teaching this class has been so rewarding for me and I know my children have benefited from it too.
One of my biggest fears was teaching high school kids. I have found it easy and fun.
I hope you see how easy it really is to teach a co-op class like this.
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