Middle School

Fifth Grade Debates Hone Public Speaking Skills

From the time our students are in Kindergarten, their teachers challenge them to practice their public speaking skills.
Once the boys reach Third Grade this is done through class debates that both hone public speaking skills and teach our boys valuable persuasive and expository research writing skills.

This year, our fifth graders had their debates live on Zoom just before Closing Exercises in front of an audience of their peers and teachers, and a panel of judges made up of older students. These older student judges provided important feedback and encouragement to younger students on the concepts they, too, learned as fifth graders.

We are so impressed by how seamlessly our teachers were able to re-create the live debates that usually take place in our classroom using a remote platform!

Some of the questions debated included: Should students be assigned letter grades? Should the United States have placed a temporary ban on all people coming into the country? Are the NFL’s efforts to prevent CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) in football players enough? Should a college education be free for all students?

Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.