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Silent Debate!

February 4, 2011

We all know the challenges of having a whole class debate, so why not have a silent one!

Instead of speaking their opinions, students write them down on a large sheet of paper. Working in groups of 3 or 4, each student has a different coloured pen. The debate topic is written in the middle of the page, and students then write their arguments around it. The idea is that they respond to each other’s comments so it becomes a conversation on the page.

We used this for a debate about the ‘best form of energy for the future of Britain and the world’. The great thing is that you can also use it as a form of assessment. Since each student has a different coloured pen, you know what they have written. Before the task, explain the success criteria to students, and then after it, judge students’ progress based on this criteria. Click here for the success criteria we used for the above task: Silent Debate – Sample Success Criteria

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