Thursday, April 11, 2013

D is for Debate



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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