Our Virtual Class: Debate Through Stories

Stories are everywhere. Children will learn narrative patterns which underlie much of the political, social, scientific, and even artistic discourse. They will become better readers, writers, and debaters.

Why Storytelling?

Much of debate is storytelling; it is the practice of weaving together individual threads or arguments into a coherent narrative. What makes for a compelling story -- whether a bedtime story or political speech? How can we tell more compelling stories, in writing and in speech? How can we apply the principles of storytelling to understanding political, social, and even scientific issues? 

IMG_0232.jpg

Through this class, students will become better speakers, writers, and self-advocates. They will gain confidence in their ability to convey information and to break down complex concepts. Hopefully, they will become more intellectually curious

About The Coach

I will be teaching this class, with hand-picked assistant coaches. I have been teaching debate for almost five years, since I myself was a student in high school. I completed my undergraduate degree at Carnegie Mellon, where I first started Carnegie Debate. I will be starting at Harvard Law School next fall.

The Class

Reading Advanced Argumentative Text  

Students read all sorts of materials, frequently dealing with political and social issues: articles, historical texts, short stories, political speeches, and court testimony.

Argument-formation

Through reading and writing -- and studying storytelling in all different mediums -- students will learn to identify and formulate compelling arguments. All arguments, at their core, are a story, a version of events. Students will learn to arrange events in such a way as to convey a particular narrative.

Writing Persuasively

Students practice writing texts meant for different purposes. Student write persuasive essays, speeches, articles, and stories.

Understanding Context

Students study texts contextually. They study the difference between speeches which aim to console or project authority; they read texts which use humor to demonstrate a point, and texts that use dry appeals to logic. Students learn to assess and understand these texts, and to produce their own.

Improve Critical Thinking, Inspire Intellectual Curiosity

Students develop critical critical thinking skills. They learn to read texts, distill nuanced arguments in written and oral form, and break down complex arguments. Through this, students become more confident, and -- hopefully -- become more intellectually curious.

Teaching Online

Frequent Breaks

Children need breaks. We take a break of about a minute every ten minutes, where the children can stand up and walk around. 

Guest Speakers

This class will use the virtual environment to its fullest potential, with guest speakers like fiction writers, politicians, and scientists, and online storytelling games that engage every student. 

Educational Games

We play a variety of games that fit the digital environment.  These games, such as "Among Us" and "Spyfall", are fun for students and engage their storytelling and critical thinking faculties. 

Homework

Students prepare work on their own time so class time can be as engaging as possible. For instance: students read articles on political issues, and present adverse positions in class. 

Small Classes, Constant Engagement

The classes are no more than six students. In class, students are constantly engaged, and are called upon at random to ensure that they are paying attention. Students critique each other's work, play games, and present arguments.

TRY A FREE CLASS

What to Expect During a Free Class:
 
Your child will attend one of our classes, meet our world-class coaches and see if debate will be an enjoyable addition to their academic resume -- all for free! Leave your info, and we’ll reach out to you.