Free Resources

We frequently update this page with new free resources for students and teachers! Check back soon to see what’s new.

Our resources are a mix of classroom activities, teacher guides, judge information, and other tools that are helpful for teachers, students, and families.

Cinematic Impromptu

“Cinematic Impromptu” is a creative and engaging activity designed to enhance students’ impromptu speaking skills using movie quotes as prompts. Without additional context, students must craft a short speech inspired by the quote, challenging them to think quickly and creatively. This activity aims to improve spontaneity, adaptability, and the ability to connect diverse ideas under pressure.

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Gesture Mapping

“Gesture Mapping” is an interactive activity designed to help students integrate natural and effective gestures into their speech delivery. By annotating a famous speech for gesture cues and practicing these gestures, students can enhance their nonverbal communication skills, which are vital for impactful public speaking.

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Analyzing Great Orators

This resource is aimed at enhancing students’ public speaking and debate skills by closely examining the techniques of renowned orators throughout history. Students will analyze famous speeches, identify key elements of effective oration, and apply these learnings to their own speaking styles.

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New Year, New Goals

The start of a new year is an ideal time for students to set specific, achievable goals for their growth in speech and debate. This activity guides students in establishing clear, measurable objectives and developing a task-oriented action plan to reach these goals. It emphasizes the importance of thoughtful goal-setting as a foundation for success and improvement.

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Staying Sharp Over Winter Break

Winter break provides a unique opportunity for students to independently maintain and enhance their speech and debate skills. This guide offers practical suggestions that teachers can share with their students, ensuring continuous skill development even when school is not in session.

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Student Speech Self-Reflection

This self-reflection activity, designed for debate or public speaking students, focuses on the practice and review of speaking skills. The activity is particularly suitable to assign before the winter holiday break, as it provides students with an opportunity to independently practice and assess their skills while away from school. This exercise encourages self-analysis and helps students identify areas for improvement.

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Steps for Approaching a New Topic

Every time a new topic is announced, students need to restart the process of understanding the topic area and generating arguments. This resource provides a structured approach for debate teams to effectively navigate the initial phases of topic preparation. This guide is designed to help debaters build a solid foundation of knowledge and perspective on new debate topics.

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Impact Weighing Showdown

“Impact Weighing Showdown” is a structured debate activity designed to sharpen students’ skills in weighing the impacts of various arguments against each other. By focusing on key criteria such as magnitude, probability, scope, and timeframe, students will learn to evaluate and compare the potential outcomes of different arguments, a critical skill in advanced debate.

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Advertising Fallacy Detective

“Advertising Fallacy Detective” is a critical analysis activity where students use their debate skills to identify and critique logical fallacies in television commercials. This exercise helps bridge the gap between the persuasive strategies used in marketing and those encountered in debate settings.

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Ransom Note Poetry

Ransom Poetry is a GREAT activity for any of your speakers (or debaters) to flex their creativity and do an impromptu performance. This exercise is a perfect fit for anyone looking to engage in a creative and linguistic challenge.

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AI-Powered Debate

AI-Powered Debate is an innovative activity where students engage with artificially generated debate topics and arguments. Leveraging the capabilities of AI, students are exposed to a range of debate perspectives, allowing them to expand their horizons and challenge their argumentative prowess against machine intelligence.

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Peer Coaching Starter Kit

Debate is a journey toward honing critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills. Peer coaching uniquely furthers these goals by aiding older students in developing leadership roles, and assisting younger students in learning the fundamental skills of debate.

Peer coaching creates a culture of collective growth, where experienced debaters guide and support their younger counterparts. Additionally, it frees time for coaches to manage, lead, and develop their teams holistically.

This week, we aim to share insights on effectively building a peer coaching system on your team, and aiding older debaters as they embrace this role.

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Debate Relay

“Debate Relay” is a dynamic and interactive debate format designed to cultivate and refine students’ skills in quick thinking, impromptu speaking, and rapid rebuttal within a debate context.

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Crystal Clear

This activity focuses on improving students’ enunciation and clarity in speech. This is crucial for debate, as clear communication ensures that the message is effectively transmitted to the judges and the audience, increasing the likelihood of successful persuasion.

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Planning Practices: Tips for Extracurricular Debate Coaches

For many coaches and teachers, debate is an extracurricular activity, rather than a class. This can pose unique challenges to coaches who are teaching a full load of classes in another subject and managing a debate team. This week’s resource is designed to assist extracurricular debate coaches in creating a practice schedule and planning individual practices.

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Secret Agent

This activity, termed “Secret Agent,” centers around Kenneth Burke’s Dramatistic “Pentad,” which outlines the five motivations integral to any complete narrative: Act, Agent, Agency, Scene, and Purpose. Burke conceived this model on the premise that a compelling overarching narrative is pivotal, whether in extemporaneous or prepared speech or any debate round.

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Debate Terminology Bingo

Debate Bingo is an interactive and engaging activity designed to familiarize students with the terminology and key concepts employed in debates. By listening actively to either debate clips shared by the instructor or using students to perform key terms, and then, marking relevant terms on their cards, students are not only introduced to the language of debate but also trained to listen attentively for specific arguments and techniques.

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“Open to Debate” Topic Presentations

Leading and moderating a discussion are important skills for students to learn. One way to help students explore debate topics, gain skills in moderating discussions, and thinking critically about topics that impact the United States can come from “Open to Debate” (formally, Intelligence Squared US Debates). 

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Triple Speak

This activity focusing on impromptu speaking and uses three random topics, which the speaker must link together to create a cohesive speech. 

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Imagine a World – Impacts and Effects

This activity serves as a dynamic tool for guiding students to analyze and compare the significance of contrasting impacts and effects, and compels students to argue persuasively from multiple angles. Debaters need to learn how to assess and weigh complex scenarios. Through their assessment, student will consider people affected, the severity of harm present, probabilities of occurrence, and ethical considerations. By honing their capacity to craft tangible, specific, and compelling arguments, debaters not only enhance their critical thinking and communication skills, but they also gain a deeper understanding of the intricate nuances that underlie multifaceted issues. 

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