SubjectsArts & Humanities
Keywordsdebate, issues, controversy, stakeholder, role play
In the Lincoln-Douglas debate format, students play the typical debate roles of Lead Debater, Questioner, Responder, and so on. But many debate topics lend themselves to a different form of debate -- the role play debate.
In a role play debate, students examine different points of view or perspectives related to an issue. For example,
Whatever the issue up for debate in your classroom, decide in advance -- or ask students to help you identify -- the stakeholders in the debate. Then gather index cards -- one card for each student. Write the roles of the stakeholders on the index cards, one stakeholder per card. Be sure you have at least three index cards for each stakeholder role.
Let students randomly draw an index card. Then have students get together with classmates holding the same stakeholder cards. Those small groups of students are responsible for putting themselves in the position of their assigned stakeholder and formulating the arguments they will present in a classroom debate on the topic.
When it is time to debate, each stakeholder presents his or her point of view. After the presentations, the entire class can join in by asking questions of the individual stakeholders. In the end, students decide which side of the debate -- the Affirmative or Negative -- presented the strongest case.
Click here for additional resources related to debate rules, rubrics for assessing student performance in debates, lists of topics/questions for classroom debate, and additional lesson plans and strategies.
Students use one of the debate rubrics to assess their own and/or their classmates' debating skills.
Lesson Plan Source
FINE ARTS: Theatre
NA-T.K-4.2 Acting By Assuming Roles and Interacting In Improvisations
NA-T.5-8.2 Acting By Assuming Roles and Interacting In Improvisations
NA-T.9-12.2 Acting By Assuming Roles and Interacting In Improvisations
NL-ENG.K-12.8Developing Research Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills
NSS-C.K-4.5 Roles of the Citizen
NSS-C.5-8.5 Roles of the Citizen
NSS-C.9-12.5 Roles of the Citizen