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Grade 7 Students Debate: Should United States Federal Government Increase Social Services for Persons Living in Poverty?

26 April 2013 admin 3,391 views No Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

IMG_4340Energy and excitement filled the air as the entire Middle School filed into the Hurlbut Theater. On stage were eight grade 7 students whose learning journey had led them to this pivotal moment: the final show down between the pro and con sides of the grade 7 debate. This year’s students were set to debate whether or not the United States Federal Government should increase social services for persons living in poverty. Heightening the intensity of the moment was the fact that students would be judged by a panel composed of Orange County Supervisor Pat Bates, Headmaster Marcus D. Hurlbut, and History Department Chair James Harris.

For the final debate teams, the journey to the stage was a long one. Starting in December, students learned research skills including how to use databases to find resources, how to evaluate the credibility of resources, and how to take thorough and useful notes during the research process. Students went on to access seven different print sources, and they also heard from two guest speakers: Dr. Michael Tanner of The Cato Institute, and Ms. Raquel Vargas from the Orange County Social Services Agency. Following their research, students wrote outlines and essays on both sides of the issue. And finally, all seventh grade students participated in in-class debates in front of a judging panel of teachers, administrators, and other guests from our school community.

The top eight debaters were chosen to participate in the final debate, a celebration of the hard work and dedication. The students presenting the pro arguments were Andrew Maita, Danielle Drislane, Evan Tingler and Avery Edward, and the students presenting the con arguments were Amelia Evans, Chase Rebeil, Clayton Chalmers and Natalie McAleer.

During the debate, all students exhibited poise, excellent research skills, and confident public speaking abilities. The entire Middle School audience was wowed by the level of work and practice that went into this final performance.

As the judges exited the Hurlbut Theater to deliberate on the winning team, a charge hung in the air. Both teams had performed well and the audience was eager to hear the call. When the judges returned, the pro team was named victorious.

Director of Library and Media Center Darla Magana and English teachers Jeni Johnson and Christie McMahon wish to congratulate both final debate teams for their exceptional performance, and congratulate the entire seventh grade for their energy, dedication, and skill demonstrated throughout the research process.

 

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