About a week ago I did a shared reading using an article called "Are Zoos Bad News?". The purpose of using this text was for the students to identify facts and opinions. However, it lent itself to taking a position on the topic of zoos. My students took off with it! They decided they wanted to have a debate about whether or not zoos are "bad news". It has been such a blast. We have never had a debate in class before and I couldn't be happier that the students are so into it.
A few years ago I watched the movie Resolved. I loved it and was so inspired by the passion the kids had for debating. What I didn't like, or understand for that matter, is why all the students in debate today have to speak so FAST? Does anyone know the reason for that? Besides being able to get more arguments & evidence within a certain about of time, I just don't get it. I myself know little to nothing about debate, so I have been trying to do some research to better prepare my students for their arguments.
It has been so wonderful seeing students that I wouldn't expect to get excited about this get really involved.