Category Archives: Education

Of Piñatas and Justice, or: Why Teasing Isn’t Always Funny

It happened several years ago, at a Grade One class party. The students were gathered in the gym, the teacher had recruited a few of us parents to help out, and someone was hanging a piñata from a basketball hoop. Excitement was building as the kids lined up.

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Debate Club, Elementary School style!

The kids at my daughter’s elementary school are keen on starting clubs. Handwritten notices show up all the time on the main bulletin board.

Last fall a Debate Club started in this way. A group of grade 4 and 5 girls began meeting in the library during lunchtime recess. They were inspired by the CBC Radio show “The Debaters”, in which comedians debate topics for laughs. Not all the girls had heard the show, but the few who had were in possession of the basic format: you have a topic, you are assigned a position ‘for’ or ‘against’, and you take turns stating your views. At the end the audience applauds and picks a winner.

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