Tablets or Textbooks? Dallas ISD fifth graders had much to say about this topic at their first debate tournament of the season, where 208 students from 26 elementary schools came together at Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy to argue the advantages and disadvantages of using tablets in schools.

The teams of three filled roughly 40 classrooms and simultaneously debated two rounds, one round for the affirmative and another for the negative. Each team member gave one speech and alternated with the opposing team members, ending with a crossfire refutation period that gave them more opportunity to make their case.

During the debate tournament, fifth graders argued on the topics of physical health, environment, economy, academic success, closing gaps, and equal opportunity. They spoke with passion and purpose as they delivered prepared personal anecdotes and recited factual evidence from expert sources to support their stance.

Top teams were awarded a trophy to take back to school and nearly half of the students received medals for high speaking points.

Elementary Debate Tournament Top Teams

Travis Vanguard

Team 4

Morgan Franklin, Alaya Ratlif and Ilana Lega

1st Place

Junkins Elementary

Team 2

Layla Davis, Kailey Young and Alexa Perex-Rosales

2nd Place

Travis Vanguard

Team 1

Mckenna Mendryal, Simon Yoost and Dhanya Demissie

3rd Place

Solar Prep for Girls

Team 1