On alternating Fridays, my students debate a topic of their own choosing. (The opposite Friday we complete a Current Events activity). Some topics are local, i.e. Should kids be allowed ipods in our school's lunchroom?, while others are more global, i.e. Are kids in today's society too rude?
This product is a basic worksheet to help the sides determine their case. The topic is identified on Monday and they have the week to find their main points. At the start of Friday's class, they get together in their two groups and plan their case. They must identify at least three "lawyers" to argue the main points. There are often wallflowers, so I've started a speaker sign-up list where no one can be a lawyer twice until everyone has been a lawyer at some point. If the topics are juicy, I often invite guest "judges" in to hear the case, such as the principal or another teacher. We've even invited the superintendent! The kids become excellent speakers after only a few weeks of this activity.
This resource is a basic Debate Case Planning Sheet that can accompany any topic.