Debate workshops prepare students to test their tournament skills


Elementary and secondary debate workshops took place on Saturday, October 23, with 500 students in attendance. During the morning session, topics for fifth graders preparing for their February debate tournament included Advocacy: understanding the act of debating; Rebuttal: 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. Sixth-grade students participated in the district’s fifth-grade debate program last year. At the end of the workshop, the students received their discussion topic from the February tournament: Tablets vs manuals.

High school students were also able to attend a live debate in their workshop. In addition to the live debate, students were introduced to the topic of this year’s debate: water resources. The actual resolution is: U.S. Federal Government Should Dramatically Increase Protection of U.S. Water Resources.

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

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