Last month, In-Session students learned about the art of debate and were tasked with researching topics and backing up their opinions with facts. The month started off with an introduction to the subject which began with students voicing their opinions on topics like age restriction on social media and school uniforms. During this event, Breakthrough students were also able to watch a mock debate presented by two students from St. Margaret’s Episcopal School’s debate team. From the mock debate, students learned about the importance of having evidence to back up claims and the power a well-informed rebuttal can have.

At the end of the month, to close the theme of debate, middle school students were given three topics: junk food should be banned in schools; grades should be abolished; and college should be free for everyone. 7th grade students debated 8th grade students in Socratic circles in Marco Forster Middle School’s multi-purpose room while parents watched from the side. Some valid points were brought up, one student said college should be free for everyone because “some people are smart but don’t have money so they can’t afford college.” Another student argued that grades should be abolished because “it puts less judgment on students, no one will judge you for having a bad grade.”

After all three topics were debated, In-Session teachers decided if 7th or 8th grade students won the overall debate. The votes were tallied and the 8th grade students were the most convincing and won all five debates. However, the 7th grade students have a chance to make a comeback at the end of this month, when both grades will compete in Math Olympics.


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