skip to main content
Simple global learning idea: Walking debate

Send us your Stories

We love to hear news from schools on global learning. Email us at:

Simple global learning idea: Walking debate

20 September, 2017

A bit of healthy debate can be good for you! If you'd like to encourage your class to discuss an important global issue, then staging a walking debate can be a very dynamic way to get things started.


Come up with a series of simple, debatable statements related to whatever global learning topic you are currently exploring with your class. For example, if you were looking at poverty you might decide to say, “Some people don’t have enough because they are lazy”, or, “Poor people are often treated unfairly by those richer than them”.

Clear a path in your classroom so pupils can walk unimpeded from one side to the other. Make a couple of paper signs: one saying ‘agree’ and one saying ‘disagree’. Stick these on wall, facing each other from across the room.

Get pupils to stand in the middle of the room, between the two signs. Explain you are about to make a series of statements. If pupils agree with them, they should walk closer to the ‘agree’ sign. On the other hand, if they disagree, they should move towards the ‘disagree’ sign. If they’re not sure exactly what they think, they should stay somewhere in the middle.

Make the first statement.  Give pupils time to move into position. Once everyone is ready, pick out pupils from both sides – and the middle! – and ask them why they chose to stand where they did. You can open things up further by allowing pupils to give counter arguments to points already made by their classmates.

Rinse and repeat the process for each follow up statement.

Finish by asking pupils how they found the experience: Did anybody change their views? Or learn something brand new from listening to others?

For more global learning ideas, see our primary and post-primary teacher toolkits!

Resources to Support Classroom Practice and a Whole School Approach

Global Learning is supported by a wide range of organisations and initiatives:

Get updates from Global Learning Schools NI straight to your inbox!