Argument Tennis by P7Qd2I8c

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									Associated Teachers TV programme
Inspirations: A Lesson from the Best

A: How to Play Argument Tennis
Objective
The purpose of this activity is to encourage pairs of pupils to involve in debating a
contentious subject they are studying by offering evidence, not opinion.

Rules
   1. The teacher divides the class in two.

   2. One half of the class gathers evidence to defend one point of view; the other
      half finds evidence to support the opposite point of view.

   3. For instance, in a History class, the teacher may want to explore the
      importance of Henry VIII by inviting one half to find information that
      supports the view that he was a great king and leader while the other half
      produce evidence to the contrary.

   4. The pupils use their notes, textbooks and other sources to research their point
      of view. Each point they make MUST be supported by evidence, not just
      opinion.

   5. Once the research has taken place, the teacher sets up the room like a tennis
      court, with the two sides sitting opposite one another. The teacher sits in the
      middle, in the umpire’s chair, where he adjudicates the argument.

   6. The teacher invites a pupil from either side to argue. A point is made, which
      the opponent has to counter.

   7. A second point is offered, which again has to be refuted.

   8. The teacher can score the game like a tennis match or can simply encourage a
      verbal rally to develop.

   9. Once the two opponents have used all their arguments, the teacher can either
      pronounce a winner or simply compliment both on the skill of their argument.

   10. The next pair are then asked to play.

   11. The teacher can be as competitive as he wants, awarding ‘games’ to one side
       or the other, so that an overall winner can be announced.




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Note to teachers
This document was not created by Teachers TV but the author has allowed us to publish it
here to be used for educational purposes.
B: Ideas for playing argument tennis in various subjects
History

Argument Tennis can be used to explore almost any theme where there are opposing
points of view.

For instance, Vietnam’s foreign policy in Vietnam, Stalin’s policies for
industrialisation or Britain’s policy of dismantling the Empire.

Individuals’ contributions to history can be assessed: Ghandi, Churchill, Thatcher.



Geography

This works best in areas such as Human Geography and Demographic Geography.

Issues such as providing aid to the Third World, population control, building on the
Green Belt, Town and City planning and so on.



Citizenship

Argument Tennis can be used to explore issues such as:

Is taking a gap Year worth doing?

Should people be made to vote?

Charities do more harm than good.

Should the UK government be sending aid to the Third World when there are needy
people at home?



Science

Use Argument Tennis for ethical issues.

Can experimenting on animals be justified?

Is nuclear energy the answer to our energy needs?

Are scientists to blame for global warming?


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Note to teachers
This document was not created by Teachers TV but the author has allowed us to publish it
here to be used for educational purposes.
Physical Education

Argument Tennis is an ideal activity to support the social and political aspects of the
subject.

All pupils, no matter what their interest in sport, should be made to play games.

Sports teams should not play against nations whose political systems are no supported
in the West – e.g. North Korea, Zimbabwe.

The amount of money in some sports such as football is spoiling the game.



Drama

Use Argument Tennis to explore characters. This can include characters from texts
that are being studied and characters who have been created by the students in their
improvisations.




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Note to teachers
This document was not created by Teachers TV but the author has allowed us to publish it
here to be used for educational purposes.

								
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