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Curriculum:  English Language Arts:  Debate  [ 110.60(b)]

The Texas Legacy site hosts a variety of educational curricula, lesson plans, keys and ideas, and supporting media, including video, databases, transcripts and other material.  Below you can find the TEKS standards for Debate, section 110.60(b) with relevant activities drawn from this archive.

Goal:  The student develops skills in argumentation and debate, become interested in current issues, develop sound critical thinking, and sharpen communication skills:


Excerpts of TEKS Text

TexasLegacy.org  Relevance

Suggested Activities


(b)(1)(A)  identify the historical and contemporary use of debate in social, political, and religious arenas;






TexasLegacy.org narrators have often been involved in contentious issues where they have had to develop and use debate skills to press their agenda


Watch the video excerpt from former State Senator Carlos Truan's interview, where he explains the legislative debate over gaining authority for the Texas Department of Health to investigate and collect data on epidemiological problems.

Look at the video segment drawn from the interview with Father Frank Kurzaj.  In the excerpt, the priest recalls the debate among his parishioners over whether and how the Church might become involved in a controversy over radioactive waste.

See Beverly Gattis as she explains in her video excerpt why it is essential, and patriotic, for intelligent and engaged citizens to debate political issues, even if there is social pressure to gain consensus or accept the status quo.



(b)(1)(C)  recognize the role of argumentation and debate as an effective means of analyzing issues, discovering truth, finding solutions to problems, and understanding opposing viewpoints.




The TexasLegacy.org archive contains many conversations with lawyers, who have long experience with our country's adversarial system of justice, in which debate is used to discover truth and solutions.


Read the profiles and transcripts from the interviews with attorneys in the archive, including Jim Blackburn, John Bryant, Ned Fritz, Stuart Henry, Rick Lowerre, and Terry O'Rourke to better understand how debate has been used in numerous legal  situations to arrive at the truth, and to craft solutions.

Watch how politicians use their debate skills, such as in the video excerpt from our interview with former State Senator Don Kennard's interview, where he explains how he used debate with his colleagues in the Legislature and on radio with his constituents to introduce the issue of DDT, its toxicity and eventual regulation.



(b)(9)  Delivery. The student uses effective communication skills in debating. The student is expected to:

(A)  use precise language and effective verbal skills in argumentation and debate;

(B)  use effective nonverbal communication in argumentation and debate;

(C)  use effective critical-listening strategies in argumentation and debate;

(D)  demonstrate ethical behavior and courtesy during debate; and

(E)  develop extemporaneous speaking skills.



The TexasLegacy.org archive includes discussion of many community controversies that can be used as models and examples of how a community faces and resolves competing questions over projects that bring both costs and benefits.  Resolving these questions, and even fully understanding those questions, requires open debate among informed stakeholders.


Use the examples offered by the TexasLegacy.org narrators and the many debates that they've entered into as introductions to how you and your class can host your own mock debate about a simulated community controversy.

A template for such a debate is posted here.  Please take a look, and develop your debate skills as you help your community come to terms with the proposal for a reservoir, landfill, industrial facility, new road or subdivision, or other change!


Conservation History Association of Texas
Texas Legacy Project

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