10 Ways to Use Persuasive Topic Cards

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Written by Holly (Teach Starter)

Use our Persuasive Topic cards – Lower or Persuasive Topic cards – Upper for these activities.

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Around the World

Ask students to sit in a circle. Choose a topic card.

Taking turns around the circle, students must present an argument for the topic, then an argument against the topic (and so on).

Continue around the circle until the students cannot think of any more arguments.

Choose another card and repeat the process. This could be played as an elimination game with one student left standing as the winner.


Tug-of-war

Divide the class into two teams. Students stand up in a line with a team captain.

Choose a topic card and place it in the middle of the whiteboard. Have the team captains toss a coin to decide if their team will be for or against the topic.

Team 1 goes first. The leader comes up with an argument for their side and writes it on a sticky note.

Next, team 2’s captain comes up with an argument. Continue between teams until the students cannot think of any more arguments.

The team that came up with the last argument is the winner of the tug-of-war!


For and Against

Provide a small group of students with the topic cards.

Students place the topic cards face down on the floor and take turns flipping over a card.

The student must then state one argument for the topic and one argument against the topic.

If they do successfully, they keep the card. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.


Speed Debating

Set the desks up in pairs and place a topic card on each pair of desks.

Explain to the students that the older student must argue for the topic, the younger student must argue against it.

Provide the students 5 minutes to plan their argument and then allow students to engage in debate for a set period of time e.g. five minutes.

Encourage each pair to report back as to whether or not they were convinced to agree with their partner’s viewpoint.


Writing on Demand

Provide students with a topic card.

Encourage them to brainstorm arguments both for and against the topic, before choosing a viewpoint.

Allow students to write a persuasive text in a particular format (such as a letter, a speech or an opinion piece) in a set period of time e.g. 30 minutes.


Which Side?

Explain to students that they will quickly be picking ‘for’ or ‘against’ on a particular topic.

Stick the word ‘for’ on one side of the room and ‘against’ on the other side of the room.

Students start in the middle.

Choose a topic card and read it out to the students. They must then pick for or against and run to that side of the classroom.


Rhetorical Questions Brainstorm

Choose a topic card and have students write a rhetorical question on a sticky note and stick the sticky notes on the board around the topic card. As a class vote on the best suggestion.


Personal Pronouns Brainstorm

Choose a topic card and have students write an argument for or against using personal pronouns on a sticky note and stick the sticky notes on the board around the topic card. As a class vote on the best suggestion.


Alliteration Brainstorm

Choose a topic card and have students write an argument for or against using alliteration on a sticky note and stick the sticky notes on the board around the topic card. As a class vote on the best suggestion.


Giant Dice Game

Using a giant dice (check out our blog on creating a giant dice), stick different topic cards on each face of the dice.

Ask students to stand in a circle and take turns rolling the dice, they must come up with a for and against for the topic. If they can’t they must sit down. This could be played as an elimination game with one student left standing as the winner.


More Ideas…

We would love to hear from you. Have you got any awesome games you would use these topic cards for? Let us know in the comments below…

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