This is a structure for a group debate, including an ideal timescale. However, depending on the length of the session and ages of the girls, it could be adapted to suit the group.
30 minutes selecting and reading around the debate topic(s).
Choose a topic that is current and relevant to the girls, you might want to allow the girls to choose the motion.
Appoint the following roles:
• two people for the Proposition (For)
• two people for the Opposition (Against).
Divide the group into four. Two groups will assist the proposition speakers with their argument and two the opposition speakers. This can be one of each for smaller groups.
Those who are assisting the speakers should use this time of research to think about questions that they want to ask within the debate as well. They do not have to agree with the side they are assisting.
Each group for the opposition/proposition should interact with one another. In each speech, key points should not be repeated. Before the debate starts, allow the groups ten minutes to collaborate and look through what they’re going to speak about.
Each speaker has two minutes to present their argument. At the end of the first two arguments, those on the floor can ask questions of either side. This should last no more than five minutes.
The chairperson awards marks for each point made on a scale of one to five for each of the speeches. There can be some open discussion if time allows.
At the end of the debate the chairperson should ask for a show of hands. For each hand raised, another mark will be awarded to that side.