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SJV 6th Graders Develop Debate Skills Before Presidential / VP Debates

St. John Vianney Catholic School 6th graders can provide critical analysis of the upcoming Presidential debates.

With the presidential and vice-presidential debates coming up, some may wonder if Mitt Romney has honed his debate skills while others are curious to hear President Obama respond to his critics.

The St. John Vianney 6th graders can provide a critical analysis of the debates because they just wrapped up a debate session comparing the success of two ancient civilizations — the Assyrians and the Chaldeans.

Dan Demeter, the 6th grade social studies teacher, laid out a week of preparation for the debates in which the students had a task each day. Every task was designed to prepare them for the contest or words and wit. The students outlined background material, checked their information and organized notes for the debate.

The discussions began Wednesday as students made their points and listened to opposing views. Although the debate ended Thursday, the students still had to write a paragraph that would persuade the reader of their viewpoint.

It seems Mitt Romney and President Obama could learn a thing or two about successful debating from the SJV 6th graders who did an excellent job on the project. "They did a great job of not only learning about these two civilizations, but also learning how to debate effectively," Demeter said.

The big question — which civilization had the most significant impact on Mesopotamia? The class was evenly divided. The Assyrians prevailed in one room, while the Chaldeans edged ahead in the other room.

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