Debate Practice Course

6th grade & up


This course will function less as a class with a workload, and will be more of a designated practice time. During class time, students will be given guided instruction on the construction, preparation, and performance of prepared debate cases. Students will prepare cases on both the affirmative and negative side of the current Washington state debate topic, and will practice these cases against one another in order to develop their skills as debaters. The class will therefore prepare students for a proper sanctioned competitive debate tournament as they will both cultivate the skills necessary to compete but will also possess the knowledge to write and present a case to a judge against a prepared opponent.



Syllabus and Schedule

First session on 11/13 Sat.

School year: 6 lessons in total. 1 class per week.  2 hours per lesson

Summertime: 6 consecutive lessons in total. 1 class per day. 2 hours per lesson.

Lesson 1

Topic Breakdown – Our team will dedicate time to dissecting the current State and National debate topics. The class will collaborate to interpret the necessary definitions pertinent to the debate and will begin constructing arguments and philosophies that could be implemented in cases.

Lesson 2

Core components – The team will collaborate to help one another discover potential values upon which to construct their affirmative and negative cases. We will furthermore research potential theories and philosophies that could be used to support those values as criteria in the construction of a proper case thesis.

Lesson 3

Research and Evidence – We will begin the process of constructing the essential contentions of their cases by researching and compiling evidence to serve as the warrants for their claims. Students will construct comprehensive narratives that will serve as the backbone of their case and will collaborate to help one another brainstorm arguments based on the evidence they’ve found.

Lesson 4

Rebuttal – The team will work together to brainstorm potential counterarguments that could be made against their negative and affirmative cases. Students will prepare counter-evidence both to be used as rebuttals against opponents as well as to defensively preempt rebuttals that might be brought to bear against their cases.

Lesson 5

Crystallization – The team will begin formulating weighing mechanisms for their completed cases, establishing burdens for their opponents and means of evaluating their opponent’s ability to meet or fall short of their case’s goals. Students will begin practicing their cases against one another to work out the potential flaws and strengths in their cases.

Lesson 6

Final Presentations – With everyone’s cases completed, the class will practice and present their cases against one another in a structured simulated competitive debate forum. Weaknesses in cases will be evaluated and feedback will be given both by the instructor as well as by their fellow teammates. Students will practice flowing a debate by keeping notes on their comrades’ cases when they are not presenting.

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6th grade & up

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