Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Rules for British Debate


1.  Choose a topic for which there are two clear sides to the question.  Divide the class into two groups: pro and con.  The Pro side debates in favor of the question, and the con side debates against.  Check the wording of the question to make sure that the above alignment of pro and con will work with the question as stated.

2.  The leader will judge the debate and keep score.  A side will gain a point for every argument given by their side that is new and valid.  The leader will be the absolute judge of whether or not an argument is new or valid.  Team members may not argue with the judge-her decision is final.

Special Note:  You will receive an extra point for your team if you give a rebuttal for an an argument from the opposing team.    " ___________________ claims that, but. . .. "  
"Some people may disagree, saying that. . .   , however. . .  "

3.  The leader will call on one person-at random from each team in turn to give a new argument.  Team members should not raise either their hands or their voices!  The leader may call on the same person more than once, so each team member should have an argument ready to give at all times.

4.  If a team is noisy or speaks out of turn a point will be deducted from their score.

5.  The leader will call on each team in order, and rotate back and forth.  Team members may rebut an argument given by the opposite team at any time.

6.  After 5-7 minutes each team will be given one timed minute to talk to anyone and everyone on their team.  This gives team members an opportunity to share ideas with each other, and is especially helpful to team members who can’t think of an idea.

7.  After the minute of team idea sharing, the debate will continue.    The debate will stop after a total of 12-15 minutes.  

8.  Points will be totaled at the end of the debate.  The team with the most points wins.  No candy, treats, or prizes and necessary.  Winning is enough!

Note to teachers:  The leader should stop the debate after a total of 12-15 minutes unless the class members are really involved and interested in the topic.  If team members obviously have a lot of ideas, let the debate continue until it looks like most students have had an opportunity to participate.