Light-Hearted Debate Ideas

Let’s talk argumentation and debates! 

I love it. I love all of it. I love the serious relevant debates because there is so much information out there, and I love watching my students’ minds grow with each new article. However, sometimes I do not want a serious debate. I want something that will spark interest but not turn political. I teach 7th grade, and to be frank- they don’t have their own opinions yet (not until they learn how to research). Most of the time, they spit out their parent’s views without having done their own research to determine if they genuinely believe in whatever they share. To avoid this right away, I start with more light-hearted ideas. 

There are various ways to use this list. I use these questions as a set of bell-ringers, an introduction to heavier topics, and conversation starters. 

Change my mind...

Pop-Tarts are ravioli.

Pizza is best cut into squares.

Time really doesn’t exist.

Coffee is bean juice.

Pop-Tarts should be toasted.

Pineapple is on pizza.

Pizza without cheese is still pizza

Ketchup is a smoothie.

Would you rather?

Be an ant or a fly

Control water or control fire

Have a flip phone or a desktop

Travel to the future or to the past

Which is better?

Hulk or Superman

Star Wars or Jurassic Park

Marvel or DC

Waffles or pancakes

Yes or No… or one answer questions

Is a hotdog a sandwich?

Is the Bermuda Triangle supernatural?

Is Bigfoot real?

Should squirrels wear pants?

Do straws have one hole or two?

Should robots have faces?

Should Santa be in jail?

Our Santa’s elves compensated fairly?

Is Chili a soup?

Should toilet paper go over or under?

What is the right way for a dog to wear pants? On two legs or four.

Is water wet?

Does the person in the middle of the airplane get both armrests?

If I put a lasagna on top of another lasagna, is it one big lasagna or two?

Is it okay to ask a genie for infinity wishes?

Are clowns scary or funny?

When Baby Shark grows up, will he still be called Baby Shark?

Would you be able to describe a tree without saying green, plant, or leaves?

Should Tarzan have a beard?

Do you own land to the center of the earth?

What is the correct way to put on socks and shoes? Sock, sock, shoe, shoe OR sock, shoe, sock, shoe

Are there more doors or wheels?

Would (insert teacher name or admin) make a good ninja?

Would (insert teacher name or admin) make a good lion tamer?

Would (insert teacher name or admin) make a good spy?

Would (insert teacher name or admin) be a good sumo wrestler?

Would (insert teacher name or admin) be a good Pokemon trainer?

Would (insert teacher name or admin) be a good underwater basket weaver?

Would (insert teacher name or admin) make a good pirate?

*If you are using a different person’s name, always double-check that it is okay with them! It is also fair to let them know when you are asking the students! The students will talk about these throughout the day, so giving people a heads up is better! 

What are some other fun questions to ask the students?

by Erin-Jane Stevens, Contributing Teacher/Writer. Erin-Jane Stevens is a middle school ELA teacher who strives to bring excitement to each class she sees.  She continues to find and create fun, new, and rigorous ways to captivate students’ attention and grow their love for ELA.

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