By Vicky Papageorgiou
The classroom debate is a highly useful tool for a teacher. It provides the students with an excellent opportunity to improve their fluency skills and to extend their vocabulary while, at the same time, discussing about complex contemporary issues and developing the students’ critical thinking skills. If organised carefully, classroom debates are something your students will look forward to.
Introducing a debate in the ELT classroom is a complex process without any doubt. If none of the students has ever taken part in a debate, the teacher has to ensure that several steps are followed :
- It should be understood by the students that preparing for a debate is a type of project and it requires several hours of preparation
- The topic for debate should be clear and the students should be, at least partly, familiar with it
- The steps the students should follow should be clear and gradual until they reach the moment of the debate
- The students should have enough possibilities to be well informed about the topic of discussion before the actual debate takes place
For these reasons, my first debate with a class is always about a familiar but quite controversial topic : Graffiti! This particular series of lesson plans has been used several times in my classes always with great success and hopefully it will be the same for anyone else who will use them in the future. It should also be noted that they have been used with students B1+ as well as with B2+ with equal success. In each case, the teacher can make small modifications to cater for the needs of the specific class.
The teacher should also be aware that the whole preparation takes no less than 4-5 hours and might also reach the 6 hours, depending on the particular class and level.
Below you can find the lesson plans for each session (there are 3 in total) and the accompanying worksheets.
This is the document with all the Lesson plans Graffiti class debate lesson plans (Autosaved)
For the 1st session, the documents you will need are :
- Graffiti Art or vandalism Warmer
- True False statements about Graffiti.1
- A short history of Graffiti
For the 2nd session, the documents are :
- GRAFFITI Arguments FOR and AGAINST
- How to build a strong debate argument
- Useful Debate expressions (1)
For the 3rd and last session (the actual debate), you will need :
I really hope you enjoy using all the materials. If you do, please come back and leave a comment. Any observations are welcome. Enjoy!