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Critical Thinking: Debate with Yourself- Modern Debate Prompts for High School English or Social Studies

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Grade 9, 10, 11, 12





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About This Product

Critical Thinking: Debate with Yourself- Modern Debate Prompts for High School English or Social Studies

This is a resource designed to get your students thinking about current issues. It provides five different prompts, inviting students to wrestle with modern issues across themes like personal finance, technology, environmental impact, higher education choices and social media use. In each scenario presented, students are tasked with researching both sides of an issue independently before deciding where they fall on the issue.

A Twist to Classroom Debates

This activity allows students to 'debate with themselves'. They need to collect support for both sides of the issue before determining their own opinion. This can work well as a small group activity or an individual assignment.

Prompt Examples

  1. You have been approved for your first credit card (with a $1000 limit). Should you accept this offer? What are the benefits and risks, and what do you need to consider before signing up?

  2. You have been accepted into a reasonably-priced state college and a much more expensive university farther from home. What are the pros and cons of each option and which one would you choose?

  3. You have an 8 year-old car that runs well, but it is not an electric vehicle. Which is better for the environment: driving the old car longer or getting a brand new electric vehicle?

How to Use:

These prompts can be used in a variety of ways:

  • Assign different prompts to each student. They research both sides of the issue and write their final opinion.

  • After researching, you could hold a whole class debate where you either assign students to each side or let them choose which side they want to be on. Each side can present their points and rebuttals can be made.

  • Students could (individually or in small groups) present their opinion to the class in a short speech or using a Powerpoint.

  • You could use these topics and the accompanying research as the prompt for a persuasive essay assignment.

What's Included:

Title Page and a total of 5 different prompts in PDF format.

Each prompt has a one-page graphic organizer to record ideas and write a final conclusion.

Grades to Use With:

These prompts are ideal for high school students in grades 9-12 who are able to research, debate, and/or write persuasive essays.

Resource Tags

critical thinking debate high school English social studies debate prompts modern debate topics essay prompts essay topics persuasive writing

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