Teaching Debate

From lesson plans and activities, to teaching strategies for the three areas of debate, Classroom Connect provides essential information on how to develop your own curriculum. Features include theory discussions as well as practical ready-made materials for a step-by-step approach to teaching debate.

Listed below are articles which may be viewed online, as well as PDF documents which can be downloaded for printing. You must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view and print PDF documents.

Classic Debate

Classic debate is designed to make competitive debate attractive to a large number of students. Teams of two students will clash over current issues. The debate season runs from October through December. During the season, students will debate two different topics. The first topic will be selected by debate teachers in August. The second topic will be chosen by participating students.
Classroom Connect Lesson Set: Classic Debate (PDF)

Congressional Debate

Congressional debate focuses on teaching students the argumentation selected bills and resolutions.
Tournament Tab Sheet: Congressional Debate (Excel)
Tournament Critique Sheet: Congressional Debate (Word)

Public Forum Debate

Public Forum debate is designed to make competitive debate attractive to a large number of students. The season like LD and Policy runs from October to January (state tournament announcement for Public Forum from MSHSL coming by 2009).  During the season topics change monthly.  All topics are selected by the National Forensics League (NFL).
Classroom Connect Lesson Set: Public Forum Debate (PDF)

Lincoln-Douglas Debate

Lincoln-Douglas debate focuses on evaluating the value of the proposed resolution. Students debate in a one-on-one format over both political and philosophical issues of today.  The debate season runs from October to January.  During the season, students will debate up to three different topics.  All topics are selected by the National Forensics League (NFL).
NFL Introduction to Lincoln-Douglas Debate (Link to PDF)
MDTA Teaching Lincoln-Douglas Debate

Policy Debate

The Minnesota Debate Project (MDP) is a continuing effort by the Minnesota Debate Teachers Association to expand the role debate plays in Minnesota’s schools. We strongly support the development of both co-curricular debate programs and the implementation of debate curriculum. Because debate is ideal for implementing several of Minnesota’s High Graduation Standards, a primary focus of this project is to provide standards-related curriculum and support.
Classroom Connect Lesson Set: Policy Debate (PDF)
Graduation Standards Package: Issue Analysis (PDF)

Final Document for Novice A and B, Novice Packet, 2022-2023; NATO topic

  1. Word Version Novice A and B Packets–NATO topic (DOWNLOAD THEM, don’t try to edit in Google Docs)
  2. Printable PDF Version of Novice A and B Packets–NATO Topic (DOWNLOAD THEM, don’t try to edit them)
  3. Combined Files for Printing Ease
  4. NATO topic Novice Guidelines

If you have any questions please contact Jake Swede (swedej@augsburg.edu) or Rachel Baumann (rbaumann@isd192.org). In other good news, this year’s Novice Packet (including A and B) is at around ~44,000 words (including explanations, non-underlined words, and formatting), which is less than 1/10th where it was ~6 years ago. The reading level is also far more accessible, although we don’t think we’ve reached 9th grade average reading level (probably more like 10-11th). Each iteration is an improvement.

Big thank you to Jake Swede, (MNUDL) David Cram Helwich (U of M), Rachel Baumann (Farmington), Andy Cherrier (St. Francis) and Skye Spindler (MNUDL/ Wayzata) who showed up nearly every week since ~March 2022 to design the Novice Packet and cut positions. This year was particularly difficult given the resolution. Also a big shout-out to Caleb Prost and Juniper Krueger for helping us get the Militarism K over the finish line. None of them are compensated in any way (except for this shout-out) for an incredible amount of time, effort, expertise, and insight they bring to the process.