Conducting a classroom debate can be a great way to get different ideas from the students and keep them engaged. However, you need to use the right approach. If you don’t, you could risk going into topics they aren’t interested in or worse. So use the following tips and make sure your debates are always fun, valuable, and engaging:
Poll the Class
You need to control the general range of topics of the debate. However, within that you can allow the students to choose what they want to discuss. This makes them feel like they have a choice and are participants in the process.
Avoid Touchy Subjects
In school today, the last thing you want to do is talk about something that could upset someone. Avoid touchy topics that might offend students. The last thing you want is a bad social media backlash against you or your school, regardless of how important you think the topic is.
Get Into it With Them
Get involved in the discussion as well. Don’t take it over, but make your opinion known. When you’re willing to openup with your students, they will trust you more and be willing to open up in front of the class and with you as well.
Have a Backup Plan
Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can’t get the debate started. Have some kind of gimmick or activity that gets them into the mood to talk about the topic, then try going back to the debate. Consider team games to start with, as this builds trust among the group.
The younger generations love technology. While they may not respond to a whiteboard, they might light up if you mention their favorite Youtuber or social media star. Try bringing in a tablet or even using your smartphone to get more engagement. It is speaking to them in a language they understand so they will liven up.
When it comes to teaching, it has its share of challenges. However, one of the most difficult things is to get the whole classroom involved in a debate. So have the right strategy on your side and you can enjoy a better outcome each time. Use the advice above and your students will be asking you to have more debates in the future.