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Engaging Debate Topics for Middle School Students

Updated: 2 days ago

Engaging Middle Schoolers with Fun Debate Topics

Debating is an invaluable activity for middle school students, offering a wealth of benefits that extend beyond the classroom. By engaging in debates, students not only solidify their essay writing skills but also learn to develop a thesis and support it with evidence and details. Here’s why incorporating debates into the curriculum is a game-changer and some engaging topics to get started.

The Benefits of Debating for Middle Schoolers

1. Enhancing Essay Writing Skills:

  • Structure and Organization: Debating requires students to clearly structure their arguments, mirroring the organization needed in essay writing. They learn to present their ideas logically and coherently.

  • Thesis Development: In debates, students must develop a strong thesis statement, just as they would in an essay. This skill is crucial for academic writing and critical thinking.

2. Building Critical Thinking:

  • Analytical Skills: Debating encourages students to analyze information, assess different viewpoints, and draw conclusions based on evidence. This sharpens their analytical skills and fosters a deeper understanding of the topics.

  • Evidence and Support: To win a debate, students must back up their arguments with solid evidence. This practice enhances their ability to gather, evaluate, and present supporting details effectively.

3. Improving Communication Skills:

  • Public Speaking: Regular participation in debates helps students become more confident and articulate speakers. They learn to present their ideas clearly and persuasively.

  • Active Listening: Debating also teaches students to listen actively to their opponents, understand their arguments, and respond thoughtfully.

4. Encouraging Teamwork and Collaboration:

  • Team Dynamics: Many debates are team-based, requiring students to collaborate with their peers, share responsibilities, and build on each other’s strengths.

16 Engaging Debate Topics for Middle School

Choosing the right debate topics is key to sparking middle schoolers' interest and encouraging meaningful discussions.

Here are 16 middle school debate topics that are both engaging and educational:

  1. Should Schools Have Uniforms?

  2. Should cell phones be allowed in school?

  3. Should students be able to have a choice in extracurricular activities or should parents decide?

  4. Should students be able to choose traditional grades versus portfolio assessment based on their learning styles?

  5. Should students have a committee to decide what food and drinks are served in the cafeteria?

  6. Should hats be allowed in school?

  7. Should teachers limit the amount of homework given so students have more family and social time?

  8. Do you think teachers should be paid on merit or experience?

  9. Should class pets be allowed in school?

  10. Should students be required to wear a mask if they come to school sick?

  11. Should choir be a requirement in school?

  12. Should school hours be shortened?

  13. Should the school year be all year with more breaks between semesters?

  14. Should students be required to run the mile in PE class?

  15. Should school start times be later?

  16. Is technology in the classroom helpful or harmful?

Debating is a dynamic and powerful educational tool for middle school students. It enhances their essay writing skills, sharpens their critical thinking, and improves their communication abilities. By incorporating engaging debate topics into the curriculum, educators can foster a more interactive and enriching learning environment. These debate topics not only prepare middle school students for academic success but also equip them with essential life skills.


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Debate topics for middle school students | Funny, fun, engaging debates


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