Thirteen Ed Online
Lesson Plans
Debate: Is Cheerleading a Sport?
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

Students examine how women are perceived in society by preparing for, then debating, whether or not cheerleading should be considered a sport. In order to prepare for a well-informed debate, students will research women in sports -- from society's attitudes to women's sports accomplishments. Students will demonstrate their knowledge by analyzing their recorded debate using student-designed rubrics.

Grade Level: 9-12

Time Allotment: Five to six days. Note: These need not be on consecutive days. On intervening days, students may check their poll boxes, message boards, e-mail, and bookmarked websites on the topic.

Subject Matter: English, Civics, and History

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Research relevant and serious information about the topic
  • Participate in an informed discussion, defending a position
  • Reflect on their communication skills in this discussion (reflective piece will be in writing)
  • Produce an assessment rubric based on a video recorded debate



From the National Standards for United States and World History (5-12), National Center for History in the Schools, 1996 (

Standards in Historical Thinking
    Standard 3. Historical Analysis and Interpretation.
From the National Educational Technology Standards for Students
    Standard 4. Technology communication tools

Students use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences

State and Local:

New York State Social Studies Standard
    Standard 5 Civics, Citizenship, and Government:
      4: ability to probe ideas and assumptions, ask and answer analytical questions, take a skeptical attitude toward questionable arguments, evaluate evidence, formulate rational conclusions, and develop and refine participatory skills.
From the New York City English Language Arts Performance Standards
    Standard 2. Writing.
      E2f The student produces a reflective essay
    Standard 3. Speaking, Listening, and Viewing
      E3b Participate in group meetings
      E3e Listen to and analyze a public speaking performance

This lesson was prepared by Amy Benjamin.