Key Takeaways:

  • For middle school students, acquiring the critical-thinking and communication skills they need to evaluate both sides of a debate and write persuasive essays isn’t always easy.
  • With Junior Scholastic’s free Social Studies Debate Kit, learning how to debate and craft an effective argument essay will be an exciting and inspiring experience for your students.
  • Featuring teacher-approved stories, middle school teaching resources, and engaging activities, Junior Scholastic makes teaching your students the essential skills they need for success not only fun, but easy too!

Looking for a fun, yet effective, way to teach your students the art of debating and how to craft the perfect argument essay? With this free Social Studies Debate Kit from Junior Scholastic, you’ll help your students acquire the essential critical-thinking and communication skills they need to ensure their success inside and outside the classroom. Featuring teacher-approved articles, free middle school teaching resources, and engaging activities, Junior Scholastic is the perfect teaching tool for helping middle school students evaluate both sides of a debate and write a powerful and persuasive essay.

Try print and digital resources from Junior Scholastic, the social studies magazine for grades 6–8, for free in your classroom!

A Reheated Argument

The argument surrounding the food dished out to your students has certainly been heated over the years. In our story, “Food Fight!,” your teens will learn how the debate has been reheated after the government recently changed school lunch requirements. With engaging infographics, informative photos showing school lunches from around the world, and a “Pick a Side” persuasive writing activity, this lesson is the perfect way to kick off debate season in your classroom.

Tossing a Ball vs. Saving Lives

“Someone who tosses a ball shouldn’t earn 700 times as much as someone who saves lives.”

In this lesson, we present students two compelling arguments related to how much professional athletes earn. Of course, after reading the article your students will have to choose a side and back up their own arguments on why or why not they believe pro athletes are overpaid. Follow our step-by-step lesson plan, including close-reading questions and differentiation tips. Then extend the lesson with our “What’s Your Opinion?” writing activity.

Blast Off?

In our story, “Should We Try to Send Humans to Mars?,” your students will have to decide whether sending humans to Mars will help us learn more about Earth or if it’s just a waste of time and money. With compelling arguments on both sides, an informative video, an “Analyzing Authors’ Claims” activity, and more, your students will have all the supporting evidence they need to craft a persuasive and informed response that could alter the future of space exploration.

Staying on Track

Privacy is always a hot topic for debate. With this engaging story and lesson, your students will take on tracking apps that allow parents to follow their teens’ movements in real time. Is it a matter of safety? Or are kids unwillingly giving up their right to privacy? Follow our step-by-step lesson plan and accompanying teaching resources to help your students decide where to draw the line when it comes to privacy. 

Try Junior Scholastic for Free

Once your students master the art of debating and writing argument essays, you’ll know why so many teachers use Junior Scholastic in their middle school classrooms. With each issue, we help create learning excitement about curricular topics from history to civics, geography, science, social-emotional learning, and more. Plus, every issue comes with flexible, timesaving print and digital teaching tools to help you meet your instructional goals. Try Junior Scholastic in your classroom and make history relevant to today’s teens. Start a FREE 30-Day Trial!