Debate workshops prepare students to test their skills in tournament

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Elementary and high school debate workshops were held Saturday, Oct. 23, with 500 students in attendance. During the morning session, the topics for fifth graders preparing for their February debate tournament included Making the Case: Understanding the Act of Debating; Refutation: Understanding the Other Side; and Public Speaking, A Matter of Style and Presentation.

The afternoon session included a live debate demonstration with Sudie Williams TAG student debaters. The sixth graders participated in the district’s fifth-grade debate program last year. At the end of the workshop, students received their February tournament debate topic: Tablets vs Textbooks.

Secondary students got to witness a live debate in their workshop, too. In addition to the live debate, students were introduced to this year’s debate topic: water resources. The actual resolution is: The United States Federal Government should substantially increase its protection of water resources in the United States.

While some high school debaters were learning about this year’s cross-examination debate topic, others were introduced to the World Schools debate format. This new debating format for Dallas ISD students combines prepared topics with impromptu topics, allowing students in teams of three to focus on issues rather than procedural arguments.

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