Bill McBride Debate Workshop


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Handouts for implementing simple 10 minute debate in your classroom.

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Bill McBride Debate Workshop

  1. 1. Order at 0r 1-800-421-2830
  2. 2. Table of ContentsIntroduction: Using Debate to Teach Persuasive WritingPart 1: Learning to Argue Teacher Directions Letter to Parents about the Lesson Step 1: Learning the Language of Debate Step 2: Grading a Student’s Persuasive Paper Step 3: Separating Fact and Opinion Step 4: Analyzing an Opinion or Claim Step 5: Identifying Opposing Arguments or Rebuttals Step 6: Reading the Research Step 7: Choosing Your Contentions Step 8: Fighting Their Counterarguments Step 9: Understanding the Steps of Debate Step 10: Taking Notes on a Debate Step 11: Choosing Your Topic to DebatePart 2: Learning to Research Teacher Directions Step 1: Learning the Language of Research Step 2: Using On-line Reference Works Step 3: Researching with Search Engines Step 4: Practicing Boolean Searching Step 5: Evaluating a Web Site Step 6: Learning About Surveys Step 7: Conducting a Survey Step 8: Analyzing Your Data Step 9: Researching Your Topic Step 10: Researching Their Counterarguments 2
  3. 3. Part 3: Learning to Think Critically Teacher Directions Step 1: Learning the Language of Logic Step 2: Understanding Reasoning Step 3: Learning About Logical Fallacies Step 4: Identifying Logical Fallacies Step 5: Understanding Persuasive Techniques Step 6: Identifying Persuasive Techniques Step 7: Analyzing Bias and Loaded Language Step 8: Applying Your Critical Thinking Skills Step 9: Building a Strong Case Step 10: Planning Your Debate Offense Step 11: Building a Strong Rebuttal Step 12: Planning Your Debate Defense Step 13: Following the Steps of Debate Step 14: Taking Notes on a Debate Step 15: Evaluating Your DebatePart 4: Learning to Write Persuasively Teacher Directions Step 1: Learning the Language of Writing Step 2: Organizing Your Essay Step 3: Outlining Your Essay Step 4: Varying Your Sentences Step 5: Grabbing Your Reader from the Start Step 6: Paraphrasing, Not Plagiarizing Step 7: Revising Your Paper Step 8: Citing Your Internet SourcesTeacher’s Final Grading and Conference RubricAppendix A: Internet Research ResourcesReferences Step 1: Learning the Language of Debate 3
  4. 4. Teacher Directions: Using a Word Wall to Learn Academic TermsStep 1: Begin teaching the academic terms for debate on a Monday. Write each of these terms on alarge sheet of construction paper and tape them up on the wall.Step 2: At the beginning of Monday’s class, pass out form Step 1: Learning the Language ofDebate. Don’t define the words in the order on the page. Instead, choose the simplest word on thewall that you think most of your students will know. Ask if anyone can define that word. Get asmany definitions as you can from your students. Then decide on one simple definition thateveryone understands. As you write this definition on the board, have them fill it in on their form.Continue until all the words are defined. If no student knows the definition of a word, speak aloudsentences with clear context clues until the students can guess the definition. For example, Mysister always has to give me her opinion about my clothes. She tells me exactly how she feels aboutwhat I wear. What is an opinion?Step 3: At the beginning of Tuesday’s class, tell students to get out a blank sheet of paper andnumber from 1 to 15. Beginning with the simplest word, call out the definitions created onMonday. Ask students to “Write down the word that means . . .” Students are NOT allowed to lookat their definitions. Ask them how they did at the end and then move on with your lesson.Step 4: On Wednesday do the same procedure as Tuesday of calling out the definitions and havingstudents find the correct word on the wall and write it down. Call out the words in a different orderhowever. Pass out Practice 1 worksheet.Step 5: On Thursday do the same procedure as Wednesday of calling out the definitions and havingstudents find the correct word on the wall and write it down. Call out the words in a different orderhowever. Pass out Practice 2 worksheet.Step 6: On Friday do the same procedure as Thursday of calling out the definitions and havingstudents find the correct word on the wall and write it down. Call out the words in a different orderhowever. This time tell students that this is their test and the grades count. Most likely EVERYONE of your students will get a 100% and know how to spell them also.Simplified Definitions of Terms:1. debate – to argue both sides of a topic 10. affirmative side – side that supports the2. fact – something proven to be true proposition3. opinion – a feeling or belief 11. negative side – side that opposes the4. quote – to write exactly what one says proposition5. resolve – make a firm decision to do something 12. oppose – to be against something6. proposition – a subject to be debated 13. rebuttal – a response to a counterargument7. evidence – facts and examples that prove 14. concede – to admit that someone else is something right8. persuade – to try to convince someone 15. counterargument – an opposing argument9. contention – a strong statement to support or response one side of an argument Step 2: Grading a Student’s Persuasive Essay 4
  5. 5. Directions: Read this student persuasive essay once. Give it a quick score by circling one of thenumbers below. 1 is “terrible.” 3 is “average.” 5 is “excellent.” 1 2 3 4 5 Let’s Get Out and Eat Out! A Persuasive Paper on Off-Campus Lunch Imagine sitting in the same loud location eating the same kind of foul food for four years ofyour life. That’s what it’s like at our high school. We are not allowed to go off campus for lunch.There are a lot of reasons we should have off campus privileges at lunch time. We would get betterquality food. We would get a break from out teachers, and we would have more time. Also, if wedidn’t have to eat crap for food our students would be happier and do better work. The quality of the food in the cafeteria is bad. No one really likes eating the food there.Most feel it tastes like newspaper. There is just no flavor to anything, unless you consider a lot ofsalt as flavor. Mr. Jackson, an English teacher, said the food there is not good for us. If we couldgo to nearby restaurants we could get real food. For example, McDonald’s and Taco Bell are rightacross the street with better tasting food. You can smell the glorious grilling of beef in our halls. Another reason we should be allowed to go off campus is to get a break from our teachers.When someone is having a bad day, it’s good to get away for a while. Even a break of 20 minutescan improve your mood. This break isn’t just good for the students. I bet the teachers would like abreak from us too especially since they wouldn’t have to do lunch duty where they just yell at kids. The last reason we need an off campus lunch is to have more time to eat. Some principalswill say it would take too long for us to eat off campus. They think if students go to restaurants noone will ever eat in the cafeteria again and people will lose their jobs. So, most of our lunch time isspent standing in a huge line. By the time we get our food we have to shove it down in order to getto the next class. If we had off campus lunch, less people would be in line at any one place. Why can’t students eat hot, moist burgers or spicy tacos instead of putrid peas? Studentswould get a break from their teachers. We’d have time to relax and digest our food. Come oneveryone. Tell the administration. I say, “Let’s get out and eat out!” Step 7: Fighting Counterarguments – Page 1 5
  6. 6. Directions: Now you need to guess how your opponent in the debate will rebut, or tear down your argument. Once you identify a rebuttal, decide how to answer this argument. It’s okay to concede a rebuttal that it is correct. Based on the essay you read, use the page below to note your first two contentions, possible rebuttals to your opinions, and how you will answer these rebuttals. 1st Contention and Supporting Reason: Opposing Views or Counterargument: Your Rebuttal to Counterargument: 2nd Contention and Supporting Reason: Opposing Views or Counterargument: Your Rebuttal to Counterargument: Step 8: Understanding the Steps of Debate Directions: You’re about to watch a class debate. This chart will show you the steps a debate follows. Follow the arrows below to see how a debate takes place. Affirmative Side Negative Side1. 1st Speaker 2. 1st Speaker • States Proposition • States any • Argues 2 Contentions Counterarguments • Argues 2 Contentions 2nd Speaker • Records Affirmative 2nd Speaker Contentions on Board 6 • Records Negative Contentions on Board
  7. 7. 2nd Speaker 2nd Speaker3. • States any 4. • States any Counterarguments Counterarguments • Argues 2 Contentions • Argues 2 Contentions 1st Speaker 1st Speaker • Records Affirmative • Records Negative Contentions on Board Contentions on Board • •5. 6. st 1 Speaker 1st Speaker • States any • Offers final Rebuttals of all Counterarguments Affirmative claims • Offers final Rebuttals of all • Gives Final Persuasive Negative claims Summary • Gives Final Persuasive Summary Effective Word Choice for Debaters To counter your opponent’s contention, use the following four-step method: 1. “They say that ...” (briefly restate the opponent’s point). 2. “But we disagree that ...” (briefly state that you disagree). 3. “Because ...” (give a strong and relevant counterargument). 4. “Therefore...” (explain to the audience how this wins your argument and why they should agree). 7
  8. 8. Words and Phrases to Avoid in a Debatetotally bad like awesomestuff things good you knowuh whatever chill verydude for real stupid reallyalways every time never impossibleWords and Phrases to Persuade or Convince in a Debateas the evidence shows abolish avoidfor example powerful superiorin this case overcome mobilizehighly recommended prevent changeat this moment tradition urgenttake a bold new step guarantee eliminatea proven method patriot(ism) honorscientifically verified focus ensurewithout a doubt values improvecannot justify justice societythe truth is that oversimplify exaggeratesuch an exaggeration breakthrough ultimateone mustn’t confuse progress dutythe research is clear inherent crisisthe time has come restore actone cannot deny call upon national interests Debate Evaluation RubricDirections: Use this rubric, or grading sheet, to evaluate a debate. A score of 0means the Debater did not do that particular activity at all. A score of 3 means theDebater was okay at doing the activity. A score of 5 means the Debater was excellentand needs no improvement. Add up your score at the bottom of the page.Name of Debater: _____________________________ Date: ________________Debate Topic: ______________________________________________________1. The Debater participated actively in the debate and followed its format. 8
  9. 9. 1 2 3 4 52. The Debater did thorough research on his or her topic. 1 2 3 4 53. The Debater provided excellent evidence to support his or her contentions. 1 2 3 4 54. The Debater listened to his or her opponent and gave good counterarguments. 1 2 3 4 55. The Debater looked poised, made eye contact, and used gestures to amplify points. 1 2 3 4 56. The Debater used persuasive word choice and avoided repeating words or phrases. 1 2 3 4 57. The Debater offered a strong rebuttal to the opposing team’s contentions at the end. 1 2 3 4 58. The Debater summarized his or her contentions persuasively at the end. 1 2 3 4 5Total Points earned: ___________________ 9
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