Talking with Students about the Presidential Debate

Get your students talking (or writing) about the presidential debate with these questions.

Did your students watch the presidential debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney on October 3? If not, see the New York Times for:

Get a discussion going with some or all of the questions below. (Or, ask students to pick a question that they will write about.)  

  1. What was your reaction to the presidential debate?
  2. Did your opinion of the two candidates change while watching the debate?  Why or why not?
  3. Did either candidate say something that completely surprised you?
  4. Whose positions and points of views most closely match your own?  Explain.
  5. Did your positions on any issues change as a result of the debate? If so, how?
  6. Who do you think "won" the debate and why?  Do you think who "won" is the most important thing about a debate?
  7. Did you watch the debate with anyone?  What was their reaction?
  8. Did anything in the debate inspire or excite you?
  9. What topics discussed at the debate are of most interest to young people, do you think?
  10. Did the moderator ask all the questions you most wanted answered? If not, what questions would you have added if you were moderator?
  11. If the election was held tomorrow and you could vote, who would you vote for and why?
  12. If you were writing a closing statement for either of the candidates, what would it be?

For a fuller discussion of some major issues in the election, see our TeachableMoment lessons, including