Demo Debates is an invaluable resource that consists of a DVD and a book of activities and teacher notes. The package includes:
- One DVD with 2 full debates from Year 5/6 students.
Each debate has 3 speakers on the affirmative team, 3 speakers on the negative team and a chairperson. Speakers demonstrate the roles of each team member in a debate and provide an opportunity for students to learn from young people who are still growing and improving.
- 13 games and activities that can be used in conjunction with the DVD to help teach debating.
Activities include extra ideas for extending the activity into a full lesson or providing further challenges for advanced students.
- Comprehensive Teacher Notes
Notes detail the highlights and points to improve for each debate as well as for each individual speaker and chairperson.
- A motivational chant/song
This song can be used to help students overcome nerves and build confidence. The book also includes information on how to use music in a debating program for a variety of purposes.
The debates on this DVD are demonstration debates from Year 5/6 students who are still learning and working to improve their skills.
Beginners learn a great deal from observing debates that are not perfect. It takes young students time (often three or four terms with a debate each term) to be able to present debates that meet good standards for manner, method and matter.
We have found that many beginning students have difficulty preparing a debate until they see what a debate looks like and then experience it for themselves.
Seeing imperfect debates is also useful for beginners because it feels more accessible. Perfection or excellence can feel daunting for beginners to live up to, whereas watching a debate from a student like themselves who is still learning can help students feel that they can do it too.
These debates, teaching activities and notes are a wonderful addition to any debate teacher or coach's toolkit.