Home > Our Design Lab > Formative Tasks > Create the Rebuttal_Debate

Create the Rebuttal_Debate


How do you prepare to counter the opposing viewpoint in order to ensure your position is well supported?
Find a way to organize your thoughts about the issue and the supporting evidence you have collected into a powerful speech. Construct your first draft. 

Time To Complete 

1-2 Days

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.SL.4
  • CCRA.W.1
  • CCRA.W.4

I Can Statements 

  • I can
    • produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (6-8.WHST.4)
    • with some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (6-8.WHST.5)


  • I will know my rebuttal is of high quality when it:
    • anticipates and addresses or refutes the argument(s) the other side is likely to make.
    • uses rhetoric and a specific strategy to address the argument it counters and appeal to the audience


Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with students, reviewing their rebuttals to ensure they meet the quality criteria.
  • Ask students to use rubrics/checklists to self-assess their work and develop a plan for revision.
Possible Activities 
  1. Conduct a mini-lesson on the various types of rebuttals, including: attacking relevance, the assumption, the impact, the leap in logic, or the hung arguments.  Give students examples and have them identify which type of rebuttal they are reviewing. 

  2. Offer students a chance to look at exemplar rebuttals.  Ask them to determine which are strong and why, and which serve to dismantle the argument or claim presented. 

  3. Model planning the rebuttal for an argument through think-alouds revealing how you organize your thoughts and choose a strategy of attack. 

  4. Have students fill out planning graphic organizers for their positions, including questions like:

    • Which arguments are likely to be presented by the opposing position?
    • How can this argument be refuted?
    • Which rhetoric can I use to appeal to the audience?
  5. Centers with specific supports or lessons based on student need (writing strong introductions, maintaining professional language and tone, or closing with power) allow students to work in different partnerships or peer edits.

  6. In writer’s workshop style, have students work to draft their speeches.  Through teacher and peer conferencing, students can get individualized support.

Downloadable Resources 
Login to See More