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King George PS starts school debate team

March 27, 2024

GUELPH, ON – In October, teacher Dawn Smith at King George Public School saw the opportunity to start a debate team at the school and since, has seen a lot of student participation.

The team consists of 32 students in grade 7 and 8 at the school. They meet once a week in nice weather months and twice a week during the winter to practice their debate skills.

When the group gets together, Smith randomly selects four debaters, two on the proposition and two on the opposition. Smith said she then gives them a resolution that the proposition needs to try to pass, and the other team opposes. Students have 10 minutes to prepare. The students who are not debating help the two teams to brainstorm their reasons for or against the resolution. Each team then has three minutes for opening statements, five minutes for rebuttals and two minutes for closing statements.

At the end of the debate, Smith acts as the Adjudicator and calls the winner of the debate. Students then have the chance to discuss, debrief and give feedback.

Recently, the group had the chance to participate at a Model United Nations (UN) event in Oakville, Ontario. Model UN engages thousands of students across the globe each year to learn about the principles of the UN and how it functions, but also to allow students to participate in popular exercises including debate.

Twenty-five students from King George PS attended the event on March 21, 2024, where they joined 160 students from other school boards. The King George PS team took home four first place medals and two second place honourable mentions.

Congratulations to all the students involved with this group, we wish you luck as you continue practicing your debate skills!

Pictured is the KG debate team at the model UN event

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