The Virtual Debate
Found this in MACUL's Big Deal Media enews - sounds like a great way to involve students in an argumentative writing at a higher level! Because it is ongoing, it should be easy to add to an existing curriculum at the right time.
"The Virtual Debate project began as a way to infuse technology into an authentic argumentative writing experience by giving students an audience. To get started with the Virtual Debate, students in two classes agree to engage with one another and select a topic based on their interests and passions. Past topics have included police presence in schools, competitive sports, and digital detox, to name a few. Once a topic is selected, the two sides face off in a coin toss through Google Hangouts to decide the pro and con sides. Students then conduct research and even have the opportunity to contact experts to formulate arguments. Teachers who wish to participate in the virtual debate will find minilessons, anchor charts, and other resources on the project’s website. The final debate is judged by experts from around the country and is recorded using Google Hangouts On Air so parents can tune in and see their child’s hard work. You can sign up and join the Virtual Debate project or connect with teachers and colleagues through Twitter to start your own Virtual Debate. Not only does the experience give students a competitive opportunity to share their argumentative writing, but it also hones their speaking and listening skills while having some fun."
Click Here for More Information