Debate Team

Middle School Debate

Should cellphones be allowed at school? Is protecting wildlife important? Is access to clean water a right or a privilege? What if children across the nation were taught to be active changemakers who can use their voices to make a difference? Project LEAD’s Debate Team: Middle School Debate curriculum is an in-depth experience that equips kids to share their perspectives and debate with confidence, empathy, respect, and conviction. As kids transition from childhood to their pre-teens and then to their early teenage years, they begin to form their opinions of the world based on what they are experiencing, seeing, and hearing. During this time, it is more essential than ever for kids to learn how to take the information they are absorbing, determine credibility, read between the lines, analyze it, and then learn how to form and express their own opinions. With Project LEAD’s Debate Team, students are empowered to be LEADers who know that they have a voice that matters and that they have the skills to use their voice in order to effect change.

With Project LEAD’s Debate Team, LEAD Educators are prepared to take students on a journey through a variety of age-appropriate and relevant debate topics utilizing the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) format. Through regular class warm-ups, students learn the fundamentals of Language Arts, including the importance of proper diction, enunciation, breathing, posture, stance, poise, and body language. With each new IPDA debate, middle schoolers will focus on developing their skills under the following common debate categories: delivery, courtesy, appropriate tone, organization, logic, support, cross examination, and refutation. By participating in regular debates as both the Affirmative and the Negative on various occasions, students will learn common debate rules and norms, such as not going over time and the importance of remaining respectful and diplomatic. They will learn how to structure arguments, find credible evidence, roadmap their points, ask cross examination questions, and consider opposing arguments. Within the Debate Team curriculum, students learn the basics of competitive debate and scoring, preparing them for traditional high school debate programs. While learning how to debate, students will also walk away with skills in active listening, collaboration, persuasive writing, public speaking, leadership, critical thinking, and civic mindedness.

Project LEAD’s Debate Team curriculum empowers students to enter high school with valuable academic, communication, and leadership skills that they can apply to extracurricular classes, student government, rising above peer pressure, high school debate teams, and even their pursuits beyond high school graduation!

Current Phase Of Debate Team Curriculum Development

Debate Team Curriculum Package Options

Weekly Curriculum

Middle School

Age Range:

6th - 8th Grade

Class Duration:

10 Weeks

Class Frequency:


Lesson Duration:

1 Hour

Day Camp Curriculum

Ages 10-14

Class Duration:

2 Weeks

Class Frequency:

Daily, Monday-Friday

Daily Duration:

9am-3pm, or 6 hours total

Common Core State Standards

Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.

Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.