Ustar Gifted and Talented Prep G3 Program COGAT

Time duration per class: 1 hour.     15 Lessons

Course Description: This class is designed to teach advanced school students the essentials of debate, argumentation, and public speaking that will enable them to build confidence, self-esteem, critical thinking skills, creativity, and leadership skills. Students will have a chance to improve their communication skills in a safe and secure environment.

How can you argue without becoming argumentative? With so many important issues facing students these days, learning how to advocate for your own position is becoming a vital academic and life skill! In Ustar’s Debate class, students can learn how to express an opinion or take a stance on an issue that is important to them while elevating their public speaking skills by practicing debating skills and making claims based on logical reasoning in a fun, yet challenging atmosphere of teamwork and friendship. Students will participate in training debates employing the fundamentals of constructing arguments and defending positions in both competitive debate formats including switch-side policy debate, Lincoln–Douglas debate, SPAR, values debate, and ARE Debate Format in real-world classroom and social discussions.

All plans and objectives are based upon the teacher’s preliminary and ongoing assessments of the students’ abilities, previous knowledge, and skill sets. Therefore, these plans are tentatively generic, and subject to weekly monitoring and adjusting to make each class more meaningful.

Tentative Course Breakdown and Objectives based on the students’ interests and ability: 

Each class includes an overview of the day’s objectives and essential questions, warm-up activities, a summary activity and homework assignment, an impromptu speech, age and aptitude appropriate argument simulations and mini-debate, and various speaking exercises designed to promote and enhance the day’s skills and objectives.

Note:  Activities will vary pending the pace of the class. Each objective listed below is tentative – actual classes are based on the progress of the previous lesson while monitoring and adjusting for all students’ needs and abilities.

General outline of Ustar debate class topics include:

Lesson 1 – Pre-assessment and welcome lesson – Introduction to Ustar debate and public speaking

Lesson 2- Students will also begin their major group project of “Shark Tank” where they will have to work together on creating a product to present to the Shark Tank Judges. This project is designed to help improve debating techniques as well as creative and critical thinking skills, leadership, and public speaking skills.

Lesson 3 – The major forms of debate are explored including switch-side policy debate, Lincoln–Douglas debate, SPAR, values debate, and ARE Debate Format – Assertion-statement that starts argument; Reasoning-statement that supports assertion and explains why audience should believe it; Evidence-statements that back up reasoning

Lesson 4 – The three types of persuasive speeches used in first affirmative speeches: the Factual Persuasive Speech, the Value Persuasive Speech, and the Policy Persuasive Speech

Lesson 5- Speed and Accuracy – taking debate and classroom flow directions in Spontaneous Argumentation debates (SPAR)

Lesson 6 – The Do’s and Don’ts of Questioning – effective cross-examination techniques

Lesson 7- The Do’s and Don’ts of Answering – effective response techniques

Lesson 8 – Students deliver an extemporaneous speech with a topic of student’s choice with 25-minute prep-time

Lesson 9 – Arguing without becoming argumentative – transitioning debate into real world applications

Lesson 10 – The three parts to an argument in debate: the claim, the warrant, and the impact

Lesson 11 – Applications of persuasion in everyday life and in school

Lesson 12- Truth vs. facts in persuasion – the “should”/”would” dichotomy

Lesson 13 – Debate Flowing: taking notes for cross examination

Lesson 14 – Preparation for final mock debate through micro-debates

Lesson 15- Students will participate in a culminating mock debate

Effective vocal techniques skills stressed through lessons:

Argumentation techniques both formal and informal

Proper eye contact

Effective Body Language

Holding an audience’s attention

Peer to Peer Evaluation

Impromptu speaking

Structure of a speech

Inspirational Speeches

Persuasive Speeches

Skills for Debating include:



Critical thinking skills