Debates En Español

Teaching Guide

Storyworks debates are designed to work as exciting class activities and to connect directly into opinion-essay writing. Here are a few teaching ideas that will help you get the most out of these Spanish and English debates in your classroom.



R.1, R.2, R.6, R.8, W.1, W.4, W.10, SL.1, SL.3



Grades 4-5: 1A-D; 6A-I; 7B, 7C, 7G; 9E, 9F; 10A, 10E, 10F, 10G; 11A-D; 12C 

Grade 6: 1A-D; 5A-I; 6B, 6C, 6G; 8E, 8F; 9A, 9E, 9G; 10A-D; 11C

Once your class is finished discussing the debate, use our powerful support materials below to kickstart students' opinion essay writing.

Ideas to Build Vocabulary

Teach the Teacher

Before class, identify key English vocabulary words in the debate. In class, have Spanish-speaking students teach you what the vocabulary words you selected are in Spanish.


Identify Cognates

Before class, identify key English vocabulary words in the debate. Discuss with your Spanish-speaking students whether the words are similar or different in Spanish. As students read the English version of the debate, ask them to circle other words that are the same or similar to words in Spanish. Point out that looking for these similar words, called cognates, is a good strategy for understanding what they read.


Break it Down

As you come across a new or challenging word in the debate, pause to say the word and have students repeat it after you. If possible, show a picture of the word or act it out. If the word is made up of multiple parts, like unbearable, look at the individual parts – un-bear-able – and talk about what each one means. Look again at how the word is used in the debate to confirm that students understand it in context.