Prep for the Next Debate!

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Over 90 million viewers tuned in to see Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump debate Monday night. That’s bananas! And by “bananas,” we mean the most watched debate in American history.

I even forgot that Monday Night Football was on…

Now that we’ve all seen the first one and the media record has been shattered, you should prep students for the remaining Vice Presidential and Presidential debates to peel back as much learning as possible!

Here’s the remaining debate schedule:
Tuesday, October 4: Vice Presidential Debate
Sunday, October 9: Second Presidential Debate
Wednesday, October 19: Third Presidential Debate

And here are a few ideas to utilize inside or outside your classroom, from simple to complex, in our opinion:


Get students listening for words or tallying phrases that you want to discuss in class the next day:

Borrow or make your own debate Bingo cards:

Search “presidential debate lesson plans” on the Internet and print out or copy-and-paste what you like!

A few favorites of ours are:
Debate Observation and Analysis Journal
Media Literary Analysis Worksheet

Have another simple favorite? Tell us here


  1. Use PBS NewsHour’s to compare historic debates by a topic of your choice. Check out their great Do Presidential Debates Matter? lesson plan too!
  2. Get students thinking about the purpose of a debate in a democratic society, especially when it comes to the significance of civility. Paint the nastiness of this campaign in a broader context of historic presidential attacks and plan the rest of your activities with these fantastic resources about Civil Discourse in the Classroom.
  3. Dive into foreign policy through the debates by having students listen for countries (and contexts) mentioned, then use the Council on Foreign Relations’ Candidate Comparison to see where Trump and Clinton stand. Get students to suggest their own solutions! Use CFR’s videos to set up a “Situation Room” in your classroom to immerse students in 1–2 global challenges and opportunities of your choosing.
  4. Plan your own classroom debate:

Let us know any additions to this simple-complex list and any successes or improvements after trying a few at @playfanschool or by using #fanofschool on social media.

As Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton learned on Monday night, improvements in preparation and execution will be key for future wins!

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Founded by teachers and technologists, we turn students into FANs of learning with fantasy sports-like games for school content + current events.

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