ERIC Number: ED314780
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Debate Instruction at the Elementary School Level: An Opportunity To Build Legitimacy.
Littlefield, Robert S.; Littlefield, Kathy M.
An educational program called KIDSPEAK was designed to teach oral communication skills to children in grades three through six in four public and private school districts in Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota. Topics which have been taught include: basic public speaking skills; oral reading; listening; creative expression and storytelling; speaking with a purpose; communication etiquette; and speaking and working in groups. A unit on debate was also introduced and widely accepted. Four areas of debate were identified as being most important for children to understand: debate format; asking questions and responding to questions in debate; the use of evidence in debate; and practicing the art of debate. Each of these areas was divided into six lessons or activities. At the end of the month the parents came to listen to their children debate and were very pleased that their children could master the debate concepts. The children were praised for what they accomplished individually and competition was not stressed. By starting debate at an early age, children can invest time and energy to learn and master some of the basic concepts of the activity. The two key factors involved in offering debate for children are (1) finding a teacher who is intrested in the activity and (2) locating a curriculum that is appropriate. (Two appendixes containing the table of contents from the KIDSPEAK program and six lessons about asking questions in debate are attached.) (MG)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Debate Coaches; Debate Strategies; Minnesota (Moorhead); North Dakota (Fargo)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (75th, San Francisco, CA, November 18-21, 1989). Dot matrix type in appendixes may not reproduce well.