The Great Debate

These activities are aimed at supporting learners to understand what scepticism means and the importance of science to test ideas, using evidence. The activity allows learners to prepare for a debate, researching different sides of the argument.      

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Royal Meteorological Society climate change content quality mark

~ 1 hour


Download the slides, debate cards and guidance below.

What you need

  • A computer projector and whiteboard 
  • Flip-charts and marker pens 
  • Access to computers with the internet


  • Indoors

Curriculum links

  • Geography
  • Citizenship

Step by step

Follow the educator guidance and make use of the associated materials to support learners to engage in reasoned debate.

By the end of these activities, students should:  

  • Have a solid understanding of the science behind climate change and the impacts being felt around the world.
  • Be able to explain the difference between ‘weather’ and ‘climate’, as well as ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’.
  • Understand the meaning of scepticism, who sceptics are and where they are found. Understand that science is all about testing ideas, using evidence.
  • Draw on critical thinking skills about what they hear or read in the media.
  • Be prepared for a class debate by researching their side of an argument and organising it into a way that is suitable to present to the class.