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  • Peter Lawrence

Day Five - Demo Debate and Field Day



Today, we tried to balance debate instruction with some fun physical activities. We started off the day with a question and answer session about debate, debate in high school, high school, and other life questions. When discussing debate, we also gave some information about speech events (see here) and other academically oriented, argument-based competitions (Mock Trial, Model UN, and Model Congress).

After the question and answer session, we moved on to our demonstration debate (pictured above). Christine and Manu affirmed, and Lara and Elias negated. Bill helped write out the arguments live-time on the board, and I checked in with students between speeches to help them understand both the content and the strategy of the debate as it unfolded. Once the debate was over, we ordered pizza for the students, and took a lunch break.

Once students had a chance to eat, we introduced them to a fundamental component of any competitive debater's practice schedule: rebuttal redoes. These are speeches from former rounds that a student dissects with a coach, and then gives for a second time with specific goals in mind to improve. Students gave redoes from either yesterday or Wednesday's debate, using comments and feedback from the instructor who watched to craft an improved speech.

After the rebuttal redoes, we had planned to host a field day outside on the football field, but unfortunately the thunderstorm struck just as we were getting ready to head outside. Thankfully, the field house was open, so we moved our games there. Before starting, we had some ice cream. After, we played capture the flag, baseball, and soccer. At the end of the day, we had some water balloons left over from when we thought we would be outside, so I and a few of the other instructors let the students throw the balloons at us. Needless to say, I was drenched!

We don't like saying goodbye, but understand that our students have full lives to live outside of the Institute. To all our one-weekers, so long, and please reach out to us if you ever have any questions about debate, and to our two-weekers, we'll see you on Monday!



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