This question comes from my own family’s personal experience, and still vexes us! Allow the children to write th… So, if your view of debating is that belongs in public schools and elite university unions, it’s time to think again. Should children be allowed to choose their own bedtime? Leadership. It also throws up the question of whether dogs and other animals have minds at all. ‘Teaching them to see things from a range of perspectives is a real life skill that will help them as they move on into secondary school and beyond,’ explains Leela. From improving speaking and listening skills to building self-esteem, learning to debate could have many benefits for your primary-school child. Future-proofing. This topic allows them a peek into another world where good and bad still exist but the lines are not quite so clear. This handbook is not intended to be a definitive guide but aims instead to offer some guidance to any teacher looking for an introduction on debating in the primary classroom. Very grateful now to be a subscriber and wanted to say a huge well done to you all as I think it's a great site and resource.'. Issues of ownership are important to children. Some children seem to have opinions about anything, and don’t hesitate to share them. A topic that encourages children to look around them and think deeply about the natural world. Debating exercises can be used for group work and for whole class activities. We share some challenging questions to trigger their thought processes. Password must contain at least one uppercase character. And it builds self-esteem, too: ‘It’s highly validating for children to be asked for their opinion, and shows them that their thoughts and voice matter,’ Leela adds. To retain interest in debating, you need to brainstorm some new and intense debate topics for elementary students, which can help them have an interesting and enriching debate. Are things either bad or good? The ideas of consciousness, what it is to be human and what it is to be alive can be discussed here. ‘However, some debates, particularly those on subjects that are close to children’s own experiences, involve no preparation at all, and encourage them to think on their feet: an equally important skill.’. Is it something you give, or something you receive? Debating can be scary when you are just starting up, and sometimes it’s the smallest things that can help you to become a much better speaker. But whichever camp your child falls into, debating can have many benefits, including improving their communication and listening skills, building confidence and self-esteem and broadening their horizons. We asked Ian Gilbert, author of The Compleat Thunks Book (Independent Thinking Press), to share some brilliant, thought-provoking debate topics (or, as he calls them, ‘Thunks’) that kids will love getting their heads around. I am really very impressed with the quality of these worksheets.’, 'I have been so impressed with TheSchoolRun and have really enjoyed completing your weekly worksheets with my two older children. Through debating, children can broaden their horizons and begin to explore big ethical questions. Want to get your child’s brain working? Should you donate some of your pocket money to charity? Debating is gaining in popularity in England’s primary schools, both as an extracurricular activity and as a teaching tool in the classroom. I am really very impressed with the quality of these worksheets.’, 'I have been so impressed with TheSchoolRun and have really enjoyed completing your weekly worksheets with my two older children. As the class learns the rules and regulations, you can begin adding in other roles and guidelines specific to student needs, preferences and debate styles Intro To Classroom Debates Debateable.com also provides you with an outline of the debate process from preparati… ‘Having lots of dialogue and discussion with your child, and asking his opinion on a range of topics, will help him develop the skills he needs for debating,’ says Debbie. The Concern Primary Debates is a fun educational programme aimed at senior primary students. Children are prone to anthropomorphism, imbuing animals with human qualities. Debating is a great way to do it. Whereas some Thunks explore abstract concepts, they can also be used to open our eyes to the world around us; a world that we can easily take for granted unless we ask questions like this. Children tend to like debating topics that are relevant and accessible to their own experience, such as: Although you may not be able to have a fully structured debate at home with your child, talking about issues like these will encourage his debating skills. If your child has a talent for arguing that black is white, you might assume that he will be naturally skilled in the art of debating. And can a father ‘give away’ his daughter? Again, the binary nature of children’s thinking can be challenged here. ‘It builds their critical listening skills and their ability to respond to what other people are saying, and teachers find that it has a knock-on effect on children’s written work, as it helps them understand how to structure their work and make their points clearly.’ Recent research from the University of Bedfordshire and the English-Speaking Union revealed that learning to debate can improve children’s SATs results by between six and 19 per cent in all subjects. There’s no National Curriculum obligation for primary schools to teach debating, so how much – if any – is done depends entirely on the school. Debating gives children the opportunity to structure their thoughts and opinions logically, so they can be expressed in the proper flow, rather than being haphazardly spread out. The Concern Primary Debates is a fun educational programme aimed at senior primary students. Learning to debate can help children to develop their research skills. Some run regular debates in the classroom, either as a whole class or in small groups; others will just have occasional debating … Password must contain at least one digit. Present a list of topics on the overhead that can have preferences one way or the other (or several angles). Keep the kids active with Stomp Rocket®, a great range of fun and STEM-inspired toys. Helps Organise Thoughts. Enter for a chance to win a copy worth £6.99 (rrp)! Debate topics for primary school children. Some run regular debates in the classroom, either as a whole class or in small groups; others will just have occasional debating sessions. Debating in primary schools. Password must contain at least one lowercase character. For elementary students, repetition in debate topics can be rather irritating. This topic also throws up the notion of robot consciousness and ‘rights,’ especially in a world where we’ve just seen the first robot gain national citizenship, in Saudi Arabia. Children love discussing toy questions, and this one raises issues around ownership as well as purpose and design and the nature of play. ‘It helps them develop their speaking skills and ability to express themselves verbally in front of a group, which builds confidence,’ says Debbie Newman, founder and director of The Noisy Classroom, a website and training organisation dedicated to promoting speaking and listening in schools. Password must contain at least one uppercase character. Other similar Thunks include, ‘Does the light come out upside down if I turn my torch upside down?’ and ‘Does the music come out upside down if I turn my speaker upside down?’. This Thunk encourages them to explore to what extent dogs – a proxy for all animals, in many ways – have feelings beyond simple ones such as pleasure. If parents own their children, can they legitimately sell them? Debating clubs are also growing in popularity, and many offer children the opportunity to take part in competitions, against other teams from the same school (for example, inter-house debates) or  from other schools, locally or nationally. At what age do children stop being ‘owned’, if at all? Keep the kids active with Stomp Rocket®, a great range of fun and STEM-inspired toys. Debating can help upper primary students prepare for the challenges of high school. Teaching a … Be the favourite this Christmas and give a personalised gift straight from the heart.