Sample Debate Lesson Plan


Long Range Objective:  Standard Number: 5.0 Microbiology - The student will investigate diversity, impact, and uses of

                                        microorganisms as well as diseases caused by microorganisms.




  1. Tsw identify the locations of the remaining smallpox virus.
  2. Tsw list and defend three arguments for and three arguments against destruction of the smallpox virus.
  3. Tsw identify the pros and cons related to inoculating all American citizens against smallpox.




Using PowerPoint, present students with clues and ask them to name the killer who is described in the clues. Each clue presents the history of smallpox.


Instructional Procedures



1.   Present background information on smallpox (See Set)

2.   Display debate resolution: Resolved that a nationwide inoculation plan against smallpox should be implemented immediately.

3.   Define key terms: virus, smallpox


Set-up Procedures


  1. Divide class into two groups (affirmative and negative)
  2. Provide preparation time to prepare arguments
  3. Select four main debaters, two per side 
  4. Other students assume role of concerned local residents: ˝ for the program, ˝ against. 
  5. Debate to consist of three rounds
    1. Round one features the four debaters
    2. Round two: questioning/challenging round between “affirmative” audience members & “negative” audience members
    3. Round three: summaries – one summary debater per side




  1. Round 1: Begin with 1st affirmative speaker and follow a pattern of alternating speakers
  2. Round 2: Teacher calls on audience members at random during an “audience” debate
  3. Round 3: Debate summaries
  4. Teacher lists key arguments on board as they are presented during the debate.




  1. Using Q & A, identify the two locations of the remaining smallpox virus.
  2. Students summarize the controversy surrounding protecting/destroying the remaining virus.
  3. Students list three pros and three cons for an immediate inoculation program.
  4. Independent Practice (Homework): Item: Due to recent federal mandates related to No Child Left Behind, public school officials in your area are making big cuts in the system in order to find enough money to fulfill their obligations related to those mandates. Item: Due to recent terrorist threats in the country, the state is asking local officials to determine if they can assist in funding a statewide inoculation program against smallpox. Tonight, your city council is holding an open hearing to decide if all local government departments should be asked to reduce their budgets in order to find money needed for the local inoculation program. You have three children in the school system and decide to attend the hearing to voice your opinion concerning possible cuts in the education budget. Write the speech you will give (1 – 2 pages). Present at least two strong reasons for the case you will be making. Construct your argument in well developed paragraphs.