30 Interesting and Thought-Provoking Debate Topics for Kids

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Students of all ages and grade levels can benefit from participating in classroom debates. Not only do they provide a change from regular classroom activities, but they also allow students to learn and use different skills.

Under some circumstances, students enjoy classroom debates so much that they join their school’s debate team. In doing so, they have the opportunity to enhance their public speaking skills, practice grace under pressure, and further develop their critical thinking skills.

Debate-Topics-for-Kids  Source: buzzle.com

30 Debate Topic Ideas for Kids

Choosing debate topics can be challenging for some students, and it should occur responsibly. No matter if it’s for a classroom or club debate, the issue should be controversial. Questions also shouldn’t be too easy or difficult for the student’s grade level, either. For example, when picking middle school debate topics, one wouldn’t pick censorship justification or how patriotism affects international relations.

Instead, students should pick topics that excite them. That way, they create exciting and passionate discussions. If their questions are appealing, they’ll forget about their fear of public speaking or shyness.

Elementary School Level

  1. Is traditional education better than homeschooling?
  2. Do kids need recess?
  3. Should tracking devices be allowed on student IDs?
  4. Are aliens real?
  5. Do we have good enough role models for this generation?
  6. Are computers replacing teachers?
  7. Should animal testing continue?
  8. Do we need to ban cell phones in classrooms?
  9. Should children in beauty pageants be banned?
  10. Are pre-teens and teens overscheduled?

Middle School Level

  1. Should all students have chores daily?
  2. Does every home need a pet?
  3. Should every student play a musical instrument?
  4. Does homework need to be banned?
  5. Should schools require uniforms?
  6. Is year-round school better for students?
  7. Should soda be banned from children?
  8. Should PE be required for all students?
  9. Does the Internet need to be banned from schools?
  10. Does junk food need to be banned from schools?

High School Level

  1. Should community service be a school requirement?
  2. Should parents be required to attend parenting classes before having children?
  3. Do all museums need to have free admission?
  4. Are single-sex schools better for students?
  5. Should students be held legally responsible for bullying?
  6. Should solar energy replace other forms?
  7. Are PCs better than MACs?
  8. Should all students be required to take a cooking class?
  9. Are video games too violent?
  10. Is history a critical subject?

Importance of Argumentation

Previously, students and staff could find debates taking place in elite high schools. However, educators across the board are embracing the fundamentals of debating in their classrooms. The main reason is that debating helps students learn how to investigate new ideas, develop their critical thinking skills, and consider new points of view.

When educators work with their students, they move through five parts of the debate process. In doing so, they’re reinforcing and modeling the process as follows:

  • Gathering information
  • Exploring every side of their topic or issue
  • Forming their initial opinion
  • Defending their position
  • Refining their idea through what they learn during the debate
Arguments are critical because it gives students opportunities to listen carefully to and answer any objections their opponent raises. Their opponent will listen to the student’s reasoning and determine why it’s not valid. Using logic and evidence, students can present points as to why their objections don’t work. Then, if possible, they can build on their opponent’s objections by using logical facts, statistics, and any other hard facts they know.

Utilizing Argumentation and Debate for Kids

Developing a compelling argument involves creating a thesis statement, supporting it with evidence, using reasoning skills, and developing a persuasive voice.

That way, students can answer these questions:

  • What do I want to say about this topic?
  • After I read more about this topic, what are my thoughts?
  • Why is this topic important to this assignment, my course, and to me?
  • Can I determine the strengths and weaknesses of this topic?
Creating logical arguments helps students keep their thoughts organized and ready to present during the debate. Because they have to think and respond quickly, it’s critical to have these points memorized ahead of time. When giving an argument, students should begin with their strongest point. The main reason is, if they start with their weakest, they’re leaving themselves open to criticism. Instead of trying to describe every detail of a point, focus on those that best describe the position.

Avoid moving on the next issue before resolving the one that you’re currently presenting. If you find yourself repeatedly arguing the same point with your partner, you’ll have to agree to disagree. Then, move on to your next position. If your partner attempts to divert your attention, then bring the discussion back to the argument’s original topic.

Debate-Topics-for-Kids  Source: buzzle.com

Resources
https://eduzenith.com/debate-topics-for-kids
https://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/02/24/our-100-most-popular-student-questions-for-debate-and-persuasive-writing/
http://mrmingolello.weebly.com/uploads/1/5/6/8/15681992/50_debate_prompts_for_kids.pdf
https://topicsmill.com/debate/debate-topics-for-kids/
https://eduzenith.com/debate-topics-for-elementary-students
https://www.thoughtco.com/middle-school-debate-topics-8014
https://www.thoughtco.com/hold-a-class-debate-6637
https://connect.ebsco.com/s/article/How-to-Write-a-Thesis-Statement?language=en_US


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