Teaching students how to research and debate a topic has many benefits that positively impacts learners far beyond the classroom. This curriculum is designed to improve the listening and speaking skills of our students. Being able to actively listen is an important communication skill that needs to be taught because young learners tend to focus more on what they want to say rather than listening to what other people are saying. Since the ability to communicate effectively is extremely important and necessary to be college and career ready, a goal in this program is to continuously improve these skills and add to the success of our students.
Furthermore, researching and debating a topic forces students to consider other people’s perspectives and not just their own. This curriculum encourages students to critically think about a topic, understand the view point of others, and logically formulate a response. Objectives of each lesson includes analyzing an issue or situation closely by examining the facts and evidence related to it. Activities provide students the opportunity to make logical connections between ideas, engage in reflections, and think independently.
As the school year progresses and students gain the ability to express themselves verbally and become comfortable with speaking in front of a group, their confidence and self-esteem improves a great deal. This is a remarkable and very exciting time in a student’s career for both the child and teacher.
Lastly, this curriculum also successfully impacts the writing skills of our students. When an individual can verbally respond to what other people are saying, it improves the structure of their writing and it becomes easier for students to formulate their thoughts when asked to put them down on paper.