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Start Here: Teaching Middle School Public Forum

Start Here: Teaching Middle School Public Forum
Start Here: Teaching Middle School Public Forum

In Public Forum Debate, students work in pairs of two to debate both sides of a topic. Public Forum is one of the most popular events and is a great entry point for new students and judges.

Topics are based on current events and change frequently, which gives students the opportunity to learn about a variety of subjects and keeps debates exciting and new.

Students present prepared cases, then engage in rebuttal and questioning periods with limited prep.

Students Will Be Able To:

  • Write a persuasive speech that features complete arguments with a claim, data, warrant, and impact. 
  • Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning. 
  • Find, cut, cite, and organize evidence that supports their claims. 
  • Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence. 
  • Listen effectively and respond to attacks against their arguments with limited prep using logic and/or evidence. 
  • Complete a full Public Forum round. 


LESSON 1: Intro to Public Forum Debate 1
LESSON 2: Speech Order, Times, and Speaker Responsibilities 4
LESSON 3: Components of an Argument 7
LESSON 4: Research: Gathering Evidence 12
LESSON 5: Crossfire 16
LESSON 6: Research: Cutting Cards 20
LESSON 7: Building a Case 35
LESSON 8: Flowing 45
LESSON 9: Rebuttals 53
LESSON 10: Weigh and Frame 57
LESSON 11: Rhetoric 63
LESSON 12: In-Class Debates 68

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