English Language Arts: Debate [§
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.
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
(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
video excerpt from former State Senator
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.
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.
the role of argumentation and debate as an effective means of
analyzing issues, discovering truth, finding solutions to
problems, and understanding opposing viewpoints.
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
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
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
(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;
effective nonverbal communication in argumentation and debate;
effective critical-listening strategies in argumentation and
(D) demonstrate ethical behavior and courtesy during debate;
(E) develop extemporaneous speaking skills.
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
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
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