BY CHRISTOPHER PANNA

Should animals have the same rights as people? Should the English-speaking world adopt American English? There are some topics on which everyone has an opinion. Offering a controversial debate question is a great way to energize your students and open their minds to multiple points of view.

Whether you want to have an impromptu class discussion or explore an issue in more depth, a pair of online resources can serve as starting points. Opposing Views is a veritable marketplace for all things debatable and The Economist is a news magazine with a debate section on its site. Both provide conflicting opinions from verified experts in a point-counterpoint format.

Like any resource, each has their pros and cons. Opposing Views has questions that are relevant to most kids’ lives, but finding the debates can be tricky amid all the news stories on the site. The Economist, on the other hand, features a more user-friendly interface but focuses on current event topics that require background knowledge.

Should governments provide stronger guidance in food choices? Is torture ever justified? Open the door to a lively debate and show your students that even the experts disagree.

Opposing Views

The Economist

Related stuff

Argue landmark Supreme Court cases in Argument Wars

The candidates answer tough questions about science at Sciencedebate 2008

The art of the argument: Debatepedia

Defeat Poor Arguments with FallacyFiles.org

Photo credit: nathancolquhoun on Flickr.

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