Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Devil's Advocate!

Many 11+ papers include a discursive essay title like 'The Pros and Cons of Mobile Phones'. To answer these questions you need to be able to see both sides of the argument.

Here are two games to help you develop the skills needed to write super discussions. Learn to hold your own in interviews when the Headmistress of St. Cake's challenges you to justify your opinions!

Devil's Advocate.
Ask someone at home to make a statement that is clearly incorrect, e.g. 'The world is flat'; 'Boys should be able to boss their sisters around, because boys are superior to girls'; 'There are monsters under your bed'.

Now comes the challenge - you have two minutes to come up with arguments in favour
of the incorrect statement. When the two minutes are up your job is to convince your parents!

This game will hone your skills in terms of expressing yourself in a reasoned argument.

Even Stephens
Learn to see things from both sides! Take two chairs. One chair is 'for' (you could stick a post-it on it saying 'pro'), the other 'against'.

When you are sat in the 'for' chair you have to make arguments for the proposition, i.e. 'Reasons why girls should wear school uniform'; you have to make arguments against when you are sat in the chair marked against, i.e. 'Reasons why girls shouldn't have to wear uniform.'

The challenge? For two minutes, you must jump from one chair to the other, making a new point every time you sit down!

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