How to Facilitate a Classroom Debate


Getting learners to debate an idea is an excellent way of getting them to build coherent and logical arguments in defense of a point of view. It requires them to find, examine, and classify facts before they present them to an audience.


  • Learners learn to identify positive arguments on a topic even if they disagree with it, which helps them to see things from multiple perspectives.


  • Learners may require resources to do background research to come up with strong points for or against a position.


  1. Separate the class into two groups and give each group a position for or against a statement.
  2. Give each group 15 minutes to devise their arguments for their side of the case. Each learner in the group must have one case to make for the team. Learners write their arguments down on a piece of paper.
  3. Line the two groups of learners up facing one another.
  4. Go down the lines getting each learner to make their point for or against the point of view. Move from one group to the next as you go down the line
  5. Once the learners have completed their points, do an anonymous poll of the class to find out which position is most convincing. For the survey, learners do not have to vote for their team’s position.
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