English: Debates and speeches

Resources team
18th February 2020
English, secondary, debating, speeches, KS3, KS4, post-16, Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10, Year 11, Year 12, Year 13

Develop learners’ speaking and listening skills with these schemes of work, lesson plans and supporting tools

From improving speaking and listening skills to building self-esteem, learning to write persuasively and deliver arguments convincingly are essential life skills. So why not get started? We’ve picked out a few of our favourite resources from TES to help you do exactly that.

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Exploring debates and speeches

Speech writing: Structure, style and format.

2 full lessons with worksheets and interactive activities detailing how to analyse persuasive writing, identify the features of a speech and create a well structured speech. Ideal for English Language GCSE.
Suitable for HA KS3 classes and KS4.

Made to fit the Edexcel English Language Specification (also attached) and grade boundaries from 3-7 (on presentation), which can be altered easily to accommodate HA or LA pupils. Objectives as per picture (fits some of AO2/AO4 criteria too).

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By Pippa Barker

Speech Writing

AQA English Language Paper 2 Question 5 lesson that uses a famous Winston Churchill speech and the contextual information around Dunkirk to help students first analyse his speech and then adapt and adopt his use of language techniques within their own speeches. A fully differentiated lesson to prepare KS4 students to create speeches - useful for both English Language Paper 2 and the Spoken Language element. The lesson looks at a famous Winston Churchill speech and provides background information on Dunkirk.

Check out our English Shop for loads more free and inexpensive KS3, KS4, KS5, Literacy and whole school resources.

AQA English Language Paper 1 and Paper 2 Knowledge Organisers
AQA English Language Paper 1 Section A package
AQA English Language Paper 1 Sections A and B package
AQA English Language Paper 1 package
AQA English Language Paper 2 Question 5 package
AQA English Language Paper 1 Question 5 package
AQA English Language Paper 2 Section A package
AQA English Language and English Literature revision package

An Inspector Calls whole scheme package
An Inspector Calls revision package

Macbeth whole scheme package
Macbeth revision package

A Christmas Carol whole scheme package
A Christmas Carol revision package

Jekyll and Hyde whole scheme package
Jekyll and Hyde revision package

Romeo and Juliet whole scheme package

Power and Conflict poetry comparing poems package
Power and Conflict poetry whole scheme package

Love and Relationships poetry whole scheme package

Unseen Poetry whole scheme package

Or check out some Citizenship GCSE, RE, PSHE + RSE resources at EC Resources

By Lead_Practitioner

KS3 Speech Writing: The Plastics Debate

An extended lesson that follows on from this introduction to speech writing for KS3:


This lesson can stand alone but assumes some pre-teaching of AFOREST.

  • A starter tasks invites learners to examine a range of images relating to plastic waste (see cover image).
  • They then examine a list of keywords and attempt to match them to the correct definition. This is accompanied by a challenge task for more able learners, in which learners attempt to make connections between the keywords. The answers to the definitions tasks are provided.
  • After this, learners discuss in pairs whether there is a need to ban plastics in the UK. A YouTube video link on the ‘plastic problem’ is also provided but optional.
  • Learners then read the arguments for and against a plastic ban and transform these onto a summary sheet of six boxes. The aim is for each box to contain one point, one relevant image and one piece of evidence.
  • They go on to thinking about how they could apply their knowledge of AFOREST to this debate.
  • There is a sample GCSE question (AQA style) with a WAGOLL for annotation according to 5 success criteria.
  • Learners then write their own speech in relation to the plastics debate.
  • The lesson ends with learners peer assessing each other’s work.

The material is aimed at middle-ability KS3 but could be used with KS4 with some tailoring.

By shd132

Encouraging debates and speeches

Writing frame for persuasive speech

A simple writing frame for a persuasive speech.
By BiltonStilton

Debating Resources for KS4: Handouts and Worksheet

Everything a complete novice might need - speaking order & times, student info sheet é score sheets etc. I set my debates up as an inter-class competition which worked very well; particularly as it helped one of our more fractured Y10 groups to bond as a class as they all felt responsible for making sure each team was fully prepared.
A 3-week unit on Formal Debates. We used the debates as an SéL Controlled Assessment for 'Presenting&' as well. I hope someone else finds this helpful!
By mbernhardi

Debating outline

A worksheet designed to help pupils to plan for a debate on any topic.
Encourages them to think about the strongest points for / against any motion, and then to consider how to rebut each point.
By Simon Motz

Writing to argue

A well planned lesson that results in students writing a formal argument for a broadsheet newspaper.

Students will consider a range of statements and determine whether they are for or against and will justify their opinions.

Students will have an example argument modelled to them and will unpick the success criteria within the example.

Students will then use this as a basis for their own argument.
By mrcrawfordeng

Supporting debates and speeches

Persuasive Speech

Document to structure speech ideas. Students come up with the main idea and then are able to develop with relevant sub-points.
By Smudge78

AFOREST Support Mat

An easy to use reminder of the AFOREST technique for students. Each school has its own take on AFOREST, so if anyone wishes to have the template to insert your own school's terms or definitions, just comment below. All feedback welcome. Thanks!
By DJames90

Pointless: Writing to Argue Edition

Based on the popular game show 'Pointless', this resource is perfect for use as a starter activity, plenary, or revision tool. Editable, so that you can change to any other topic or change questions. Containing almost 30 slides of sound clips, engaging visuals, and suitably challenging questions, this resource is effective at both promoting engagement and enhancing learning. There are several full rounds of questions to build learning of Writing to Argue:
1. Identifying Arguing/ Persuasive Devices
2. Defining Arguing Devices
3. Identifying and Unscrambling Text Types and Jobs that use Structured Arguments
4. Naming Opposing Connectives (to help structure arguments.)
The nature of the game ensures that this resource can challenge students of all levels.
By TandLGuru

The Debate Game

This is a great game to play in pairs or with the whole class. It really helps pupils to use persuasive language while improving their speaking and listening skills. They also love it.

For Pairs
You need 2 dice. The first player throws a dice for the horizontal and the second player throws a dice for vertical. You then choose who is for and who is against each statement. I usually choose the first round then the second round is chosen by whoever lost the first round and so on. Each pupil has to come up with the most reasons to support their side of the statement. The person with the most wins then you throw the dice again.

For Whole Class
You need 2 dice. The first player throws a dice for the horizontal and the second player throws a dice for vertical. You then choose who is for and who is against each statement. I usually choose the first round then the second round is chosen by whoever lost the first round and so on. The whole class decides, by raising hands, which was the most persuasive. It helps to limit the amount of time to say 1 minute each.
By mrichmond

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