This lesson plan, found in The New York Times' "Learning Blog," weaves current events into teaching skills of argumentation. Students discuss the elements of a good debate and then put what they discussed into practice by debating controversial issues currently in the news.
ELA teacher, Emily Davaney-Graham, uses the "Pick a Side" as a warm-up activity. The goal is to engage every student in the classroom via a quick opening activity that also serves as a measure of understanding for the topic being discussed.
This is an incredible resource if you want to teach debate. Each lesson is broken down into a specific component in the argument process, which allows students to gain a thorough understanding of how to execute an effective debate.
This guide is another stellar resource in helping you integrate a debate unit into your classroom. The activities contained herein range from informal debates to affirmative and negative debate strategies.