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
“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!”