Public Forum Curriculum

  • This page contains a variety of Public Forum resources organized by topic and skill area. Most sections contain both videos and links to documents that can be used in the classroom, to study, or practice debate skills. To watch a video, simply click play. To access a file, click on the hyperlinked text that will look something like this and you will either see the document in your web-browser or receive a prompt to download it.  
    Teachers-Many of the sections have files and activities that you can use during class or practice. Just locate a topic or skill area you want to work on with your students and see what you can find. If you are not familiar with the topic area, see if there is an embedded video you can watch before you teach the material to your students.
    Many of the resources included or linked to on this page were created by dedicated individuals in the debate community. We would like to thank these individuals for all their hard work and for the lasting impact they will have on students for years to come. 

General Resources

  • Public Forum Debate Overview: Click the previous link to download a document that explains Public Forum Debate. Why you are looking at the speech times on this sheet, I recommend watching the next video. 
    Past PF Topics: This file is a list of old topics you can use with a variety of activities on this page.
    Public Forum Guides/Text Books: Please see the links below for a number of resources that you can use to help teach Public Forum.
    Judging Public Forum: This video explains how to judge Public Forum and will give you a better understanding of the activity. 
    Example debate rounds: Click below to watch a few sample debate rounds.

Full Round Demo with Explanations Between Each Speech

  • This video series runs through an entire PF round. Between each speech, a narrator explains what should be done.
    • Video 1: First Pro, First Con Speech, and Crossfire
    • Video 2: Second Pro, Second Con Speech, and Crossfire
    • Video 3: Summary Speeches, Grand Crossfire, and Final Focus

Speaker Duties & Round Overview

  • The first 6 minutes or so of this video is an overview of the entire Public Forum Debate round. The rest of the video describes what should happen in each speech in greater detail. I recommend having the Public Forum Debate Overview document in front of you when you watch this video as some of the terms he uses may be different then the terms you hear in HUDL.
    Please email Jonathan Wolfson from this video for free lesson plans and student files that go along with the video.

Building Cases

    Please email Jonathan Wolfson at from this video for free lesson plans and student files that go along with the video.
    Building Cases Files and Activities Below
    Case Writing Lesson Plan/Activity (This activity is designed for World Schools Debate but will work fine for Public Forum. Just replace the word Proposition with Pro and the word Opposition with Con.
    PF Speech Outline: This document can be used as a template to write your Pro or Con case. Once your case is written, you can delete any of the extra instructions or text you do not want to use.
    Public Forum Case Example: This document is a full case with explanations for why it was written the way it was. This can also be used as a template by deleting extra information and then typing in your own. The case is structured a bit differently than the PF Speech Outline above and demonstrates that there is no perfect way to write a case.
    Here you can find another Pro Case Example and a Con Case Example on the same topic that offer yet another way to write a PF Case.

Building an Argument

  • There are multiple ways to describe building an argument. The video below describes the ARE method. Although not a classic method for describing how to build an argument, it works very well for debate and ARE is easy to remember.
    A is your assertion and should function as the name of the argument. It should be a full thought, not just one word.
    R is your reasoning and should be where you describe your assertion in greater detail.
    E is your evidence and its main purpose is connecting your argument to reality. 
    Argument Files and Activities Below