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SPAR LIT Jr: Understanding Literature Through Speech and Debate Techniques

Cindy Frank
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In this multi-session class we will explore the deeper meanings of Madeleine L'Engle's Newbery Award-winning A Wrinkle In Time through discussion and SPAR debate. ESL friendly, CEFR level — B1-B2 (intermediate) #academic

Class experience

US Grade 3 - 6
Intermediate Level
6 lessons//6 Weeks
 Week 1
Lesson 1
Consideration of chapters 1 and 2
Discussion and Spar Debate with question sparked by: “I do face facts,” Meg said. “They’re lots easier to face than people, I can tell you." Spar Statement: Facts are easier to understand than people. Position 1: Facts are easier to understand than people. Position 2: No, people are easier to understand than facts
 Week 2
Lesson 2
Consideration of chapters 3 and 4
Discussion and Spar Debate with question sparked by: “Maybe we weren’t meant to meet before this.’ Calvin said. “I knew you but I didn’t know you." Spar Question: Is it possible that there are people out in the world that we are meant to meet, things we are meant to do that are fated to happen? position 1: Yes, things are fated to happen to us. position 2: No, we have control over our lives and decisions.
 Week 3
Lesson 3
Consideration of chapters 5 and 6
Discussion and Spar Debate with question sparked by: “You see, though we travel together, we travel alone.” —Mrs .Whatsit Spar Statement: Even independent people need help sometimes. Position 1: Yes — Even independent people need the help of others sometimes. Position 2: No — Independent people can and should do most things on their own.
 Week 4
Lesson 4
Consideration of chapters 7 and 8
Discussion and Spar Debate with question sparked by: “For why would you wish to fight someone who is only here to save you pain and trouble?…I am willing to assume all the pain, all the responsibility, all the burdens of thought and decisions.” Spar Question: Would you give up your free will (your ability to make choices) to be completely taken care of so you’d have no responsibilities and never feel upset or pain? Position 1: yes Position 2: no
 Week 5
Lesson 5
Consideration of chapters 9 and 10
Discussion and Spar Debate with question sparked by: “She had been so certain that the moment she found her father everything would be all right.” Spar Statement: Children have a right to want the protection of their parents. Position 1: Children have a right to want the protection of their parents. Position 2: Children should aim for independence.
 Week 6
Lesson 6
Consideration of chapters 11 and 12
Discussion and Spar Debate with question sparked by: “We know what things are like. It must be a very limiting thing this seeing.” Spar Question: Can we actually be limited by our senses? Position 1: We don’t use our senses properly to see the world around us or to understand people fully. Position 2: Our senses—seeing, hearing, touch, smell, taste — are miraculous and help us to understand the world.
  • Students successfully completing this course will be able to: *To gain confidence in speaking and organization *Understand all the basic ideas of debate and rhetoric *Gain deeper understanding of literature through debate * To communicate effectively through speaking, thinking adroitly and responding fluently * Improve memory retention and organizational skills * Gain confidence and poise in oral presentation * Expand vocabulary and word usage *To gain deeper understanding of the nuances of literature
Longtime teacher of literature for both middle and high school students. Founder and former coach of an award-winning Speech and Debate team that competed at local, state and national levels, long-time speech judge for local, regional, national speech events for NCFL and National Speech and Debate Association, former teacher of high school debate and rhetoric, art history, literature, and AP Language and Composition. 
Homework Offered
Students will be required to read the portions of the text we will be considering for the upcoming week. Optional writing assignments will be provided after each class as well to give learners the opportunity both to enhance oral speaking abilities and explore creative writing and further enhance their critical thinking skills. These assignments range from creative writing to assertion essay writing, mapmaking to design and puzzles. The teacher will provide a personalized response to all finished work.
0 - 1 hours per week outside of class
Assessments Offered
I will write learners throughout the sessions to offer feedback on their work in class. If students choose to complete the optional assignments I will provide immediate written feedback as well.
Grades Offered
 1 file available upon enrollment
Pencil and paper always!
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. I have provided a pdf of the full book with the sign up for this class although many students prefer to purchase their own copy  (available through Amazon or many other sources) prior to class.
Joined July, 2020
Star Educator
Teacher expertise and credentials
Bachelor's Degree
Hello, Everyone, I'm Cindy Frank!

*Classes limited to 6 students--all have a voice in the classroom
* All classes taught, written, and created by me for my learners
*Each session a full 55 minutes of... 
Group Class


for 6 classes
1x per week, 6 weeks
55 min

Completed by 165 learners
Live video meetings
Ages: 8-12
2-6 learners per class

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