Up for Debate at EMS

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Seventh graders at Elwood Middle School honed their debate skills in Ms. Lindsay Kenny’s class on May 2. Students were challenged to gather evidence for both sides of an argument and then face off with a partner using their informed opinions.

The class was presented with the question: should kids should be involved in competitive sports? After gathering information for both sides of the argument, students were prepared to fight for either stance, and the class was evenly divided with those defending either pro or con roles.

While a lot of the students debated with passion and used experiences to carry their argument, they skillfully referred back to textual evidence, therefore strengthening their positions. Some students even left the classroom still good-naturedly debating the topic with one another.

“It’s important for students to defend opinions in an informed manner because what they say matters—and this goes beyond the classroom,” said Ms. Kenney. “If we can teach students to not only come to the table with a strong claim but to be backed up with evidence, while also directly addressing their peer’s concern, we’ll be preparing them to properly diffuse differences of opinion as they navigate through life!”