The debates in the Middle Level went swimmingly. The seventh graders, while new to the task, showed effort and promise in their debating skills. The eighth graders, the “old vets”, had a more heated match, but it was a close one. Both sides in both debates had good information, ok decorum, and everyone had a (varying) level of interest.
The seventh graders did quite well. They had good points, and the info to back them up. It was polite and effective. There were a few students who would do well to go on into their high school careers as members of the Debate Team.
Likewise with the eighth graders. This match was more intense, and some students likened it to a GOP debate in the aftermath. There were more opinions on this topic, and they certainly conflicted, which led to brief losses of decorum. But the info was solid. However, the rebuttals were difficult. Their brains were distracted, and with a fifteen-second limit, it was tricky to conceive a well-written counter. The limit led to some obvious moments of “winging it”. As with the seventh graders, a select number of the students showed a seed of skill, which should certainly be nurtured into a truly masterful debater.
All in all, these two debates went quite well. Each of the teams in each of the grades showed effort and a desire to win. This is an assignment that should be repeated, and will have another deal of success.