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5 Debate Topics To Bring Out The Orators In Primary Students

Other than men and women, there are other categories under which humans can be recognised. These are:

  • people who want to change
  • people who simply don’t care
  • people who are the change.

Today a large population of the earth belongs to the second or first category. What the world needs today is the people from the third category and that is what debating is all about.

The basic idea of a debate

Debating is not just superficially arguing on something you find preposterous. The thing that matters is the change that it brings. From listening to experts debating to questioning the very existence of a rule or a custom teaches a person much more.

  • The amount of research and preparation required for any topic forces a person to go deep into the issues and understand the problems that surround today’s society.
  • It shows a person the sorry condition of today and also teaches him/her that change will not drop down from the heavens; rather they will have to strive for it.
The debate scenarios in today’s classrooms:
  • A debate is a great device to engage students and to bring some life to a boring classroom.
  • Using debates in the classroom can help students in mastering essential critical-thinking and presentation skills.
  • Classroom debates can nourish a student with qualities like rational thinking, citizenship, manners, an organisation of thoughts and public speaking.
  • Student debate is capable of deeply engaging the students in relevant learning and inspiring them to be deep thinkers.
  • More than just arguing, the structure and rules of debate should be designed to keep both sides calm.

Here are 5 interesting debate topics to conduct for primary students:

  1. Do Video Games Trigger Violent Behaviour?

    An incident in Germany that happened two years ago went like this: In Munich, Germany, an 18-year-old gunman killed nine people in July 2016. He reportedly was a fan of first-person shooter video games.

    The above story has led many to worry that violent video games might be negatively affecting their children. Demands from various parts of the world to ban some games involving extreme violence has increased in the recent past.However, some people also say that just like TV shows, video games also takes one away from reality.

    People defending it say that it is like living in their own world where they can battle zombies or rescue princesses.

    Some video games are violent, but they feel that has nothing to do with a person’s behaviour.

    Violence is originated from anger, or hate and the blame has been put on games just for the sake of blaming someone.

    Takeaways for students from Video Games Trigger Violent Behavior Debate:

    It becomes extremely essential that before taking a decision or blaming the games, the people who play games the most are consulted. Children can have a healthy debate where they can come up with the positives and negatives of indulging in too much gaming.

  2. Books versus Movies: which is better and more educational?
    • In recent years, children have adapted to movies and have stopped or reduced reading books.
    • On the other hand, many people think that books are often a hundred times better than their movie counterparts.
    What the students can discuss?

    A debate that I attended on the same topic had students who came up with points like:

    • Books are very anti-social!
    • Don't get surprised, the bunch of people thinking this is increasing day by day.

      Also, there were points like:

      • When watching a movie a person can talk to his/her friends and look back at the movie and they still know what's happening.
      • However, in the case of books, it becomes a lot harder because a person has to mark where you are up to and it gets confusing.

      The counterpart on the other side also came up with strong points like:

      • No doubt films bring the whole script to life before one’s eyes, make characters into living, breathing flesh and blood, but books let a person LIVE everything.
      • Books are much better than a movie because it lets a person escape from the real world to their own. Movies show how cruel and consumed this world is.

      Takeaways for students from a Movies vs Books debate:

      • Besides listening to the POV (Point of View) of the person sitting on the opposite side, the students will argue and will end up realising that books are an important part of life as they are sometimes more indulging and engaging than movies.
      • Whereas the students supporting books will come to know that despite the fact that books are engaging and awesome, watching a movie sometimes is also fun!
  3. Should Grades be Abolished?

    While some feel that grades keep them motivated to do well in exams, there are others who feel that they LOWER self-confidence, and they are an ABSURD method to measure a student's smartness.

    There are incidents where some students attempted suicide because

    Let’s say: Their parents were going to throw them on the streets if they couldn’t score As.

    Then, there are those schools where doing homework and getting good grades was cool and as a result, there were so many students who dropped out, got bullied because of their grades.

    A debate will help know the students’ viewpoints on:

    • People who look over grades as a way of measuring the progress of students.
    • The process in which grades are assigned based on the quality of work.

    Takeaways for students from Should Grades be Abolished debate:

    The outcomes of the debate can be fruitful like:

    • Students suggesting teachers that instead of labelling them with As and Bs, they write qualitative summaries of the student's progress.
    • Students asking teachers to encourage their interests and strengths and help them with their weaknesses.

    Besides allowing students to flourish at their own pace and interests, this can help them realise the kind of person they want to be in life.

  4. Science or Arts?

    Art is the greatest science or science is the greatest art? Let the students decide that and convince each other about what they feel and why they feel so.

    • Most of the students either aspire of becoming an engineer, scientist or a doctor and therefore have no choice but to opt for science stream at the 10+2 level.
    • Some go for science voluntarily, while others have it thrust upon them by their parents.
    • Yes, it’s the happening stream in India and people opt for it keeping their interests and dreams at stake.

    Takeaways for students from Science or Arts debate:

    However, you must take care that at the end of the debate the students realise that science and arts are co-related. Basic concepts are a must to study in both the streams. Arts is also equally useful as that of science.

  5. Should Teachers be replaced by Computers?

    Technology is omnipresent.

    Its presence in our lives has become such that it is now impossible to imagine living in a world without it.

    Can technology replace teachers?

    The answer to this question is complex. And it is important for students to have their say for or against it.

    During the debate, you get their views on if the technology is developed enough that all educators are now redundant or do we still need teachers to guide us through education?

    We realise that a teacher must not only provide knowledge but also guide, motivate and condition the students.

    Takeaways for students from Should Teachers be replaced by Computers debate:

    Some may say that a computer cannot replace human completely as technology is not so advanced and is not yet capable of competing with the human mind.

    But the fact is at this point in time: computer and internet are a source of vast knowledge which students can receive. But can they replace teachers?


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