Parents | Raising readers & learners.

Home of Parent & Child Magazine

The Great Debate

Which side is right?

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Critical Thinking
Listening and Speaking

What you need:

  • paper
  • pen or pencil
  • posterboard (optional)
  • markers (optional)

What to do:

  1. In advance, decide on a debate topic with your child. This could be about music, clothes, movies, sports, hairstyles — anything on which you have varying opinions. 
  2. Refine the topic to come up with a specific question or issue. For instance, you could debate whether skiing or snowboarding is a better sport, or whether Britney Spears is or is not talented. Select a judge and set a date for the debate.
  3. Both you and your child should prepare your arguments before the debate. You might want to set guidelines such as presenting three points in support of your argument.
  4. In the debate itself, each participant presents his arguments in front of a judge (perhaps your spouse or an older child). You might want to write your main points on posterboard. Next, take ten minutes to think of rebuttal arguments. (Keep paper and pen handy for this.) Finally, each of you has two minutes to rebut the other's arguments.


Find Just-Right Books

The Reading Toolkit