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Social Controversy Project Debate
Each student will be assigned one side of a social controversy to analyze. As part of this debate project, each student will be a part of a team (2-3 people) that will gather evidence and ultimately present that evidence during a debate. You will be using the online databases and other print sources to debate your argument (appropriate data bases through the library are best). This debate project will serve as your assessment for this unit. There will be no additional test or paper (unless you are absent for the debate).
Your goal is to convince the audience that you have taken the appropriate position for the case based on your presentation of good, solid evidence. The teacher will serve as the debate moderator and will direct the conversation. Each team will have four minutes to present their case without interruptions. All team members must contribute here. Visuals in some form are required. After the presentations, each team will be allowed a two minute response or rebuttal. After the responses, the moderator is free to direct the discussion as he chooses. Audience participation will also begin at this time, until the conclusion of the debate. Contestants will be allowed to ask questions of the other team and engage in open debate. Teams will conclude the debate with a one minute concluding statement summarizing main points. At the conclusion, the audience will be polled on these two questions:
1. Which side do you personally support on this topic?
2. Which team made a more convincing argument, regardless of how you personally feel about this topic? (Part of Grade)
Students should expect that there be give-and-take during the process and that the emphasis will be on an enjoyable learning process rather than an anxiety-producing grilling – however, passionate debate is expected. Students are permitted to use reference note cards but should be sufficiently familiar with BOTH SIDES of their topic to articulate their ideas and to respond to questions clearly and concisely in an impromptu manner.
The debate project will be graded in the following manner:
v Class time used wisely by entire group (5 pts)
v Specific evidence from procon.org or other resources referenced during your argument and throughout the debate (5pts)
v All team members effectively participate (5 pts)
v Opening 4 minute presentation (10 pts)
v 2 minute response presentation (5 pts)
v Response to questions from other team, teacher, and class (10 pts)
v Works Cited page in correct MLA format (use of at least three sources)
v 1 minute concluding argument presentation (5 pts)
v Respectful, dress and act professionally (5 pts)
v Winning team will receive 5 pts extra credit based off teacher and class feedback/votes
TOTAL: 50 points
Requirements for Success:
1. Prepare in advance for your opening argument as a team. PRACTICE!
2. Anticipate/brainstorm a list of questions that the teacher or other team may ask you. Prepare how your group will respond to those questions.
3. Make sure that every one of your team members knows the information and can respond to a question. I may pose questions to specific people.
4. Do not use all of your best ammunition in the opening argument…save some for questions/responses that you know will come up
5. Prepare questions to ask the other team.
6. All participants will stand during the discussion. Dress and act professionally. Participate in the panel discussion with the appropriate tone and volume.
7. Write down questions asked of you by the other team during the debate and ideas of how to respond when you have a chance to defend your side
8. You should not be speaking when the other team has the floor. Speaking out of turn is not respectful or professional and will lose points for your team.
9. Audience members not acting respectively or appropriately during other debates will lose points off of their own score.
10. The winning team is NOT the team that your teacher or your class agrees with, however it is the team that presents a better argument for their side using specific evidence and visual aids.
An [A] excellent participant exhibits highly effective communication skills by:
- establishing eye contact with moderator and the class
- using an upright and engaged posture
- speaking clearly and sufficiently loudly for the entire class to hear
- appropriate use of cue cards
- being confident about yourself and your comments
- responding to questions directly, avoiding the word “like” unless developing a simile
- listening for and articulating commonalities and differences among panel members explaining point further when directed
- appealing to outside authority when appropriate (how and when are you using expert analysis?)
- demonstrating a logical progression of ideas
- using appropriate vocabulary (words, phrases, figures of speech to create impact)
- using appropriate grammar
- using tone and expression for intended effect
- vigorously defending your position in a respectable and believable manner