The following debate works well with most levels and offers plenty of opportunities for input and feedback. I have followed this structure with a business class, PET, FCE and CAE classes and it worked really well.


  1. To develop debating skills.
  2. To use agreeing expressions, disagreeing expressions, expressions to interrupt politely and expressions to express an opinion.


Lollypop sticks


  1. Elicit agreeing expressions, disagreeing expressions, expressions to interrupt politely and expressions to express an opinion and write them on the board (6 examples for each category). Offer suggestions if students run out of ideas.
  2. The students copy the expressions on the lollipop sticks.
  3. Put the students into pairs and ask them to choose two topics they want to debate.
  4. As a whole class students now reduce their common list of topics to final two.
  5. Students team up for the debate.
  6. The judge and their secretary must come up with the rules and decide on the structure of the debate (offer suggestions if necessary).
  7. Give the remaining two teams 5 to 10 minutes to prepare three arguments.
  8. Before the debate place three expressions from each category in front of each team (each team should have 12 lollypop sticks with 12 different expressions in front of them).
  9. Students introduce an argument which is passed to an opposing team member for discussion, who then introduces counter argument which is passed back to the first team for discussion, etc. Once the students have successfully introduced their expressions into an argument, the stick is taken away.
  10. At the end students provide a short summary of their main points.
  11. After the first debate the secretary switches with one of the members of team A and the judge replaces a member from team B. The remaining members of team A and B switch the expressions to make sure they use new expressions in the next debate.

One thought on “Lollypop debate

  1. I used this activity based on something I had in my class pack. The students were given a list of topics and instead of Popsicle sticks, I just wrote the expressions for agreeing and disagreeing on strips of paper. The students had to try and get rid of the expressions the fastest, while make coherent arguments! It was good fun!


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