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Can money buy happiness? Second Graders had a vigorous debate of that eternal question as part of their economics unit in social studies.
YES: "If you are lonely, you can get a pet, and then you will be happier."
NO: "Happiness comes from friends and family, not from a store."
YES: "If you have money, and you give it to people who need it, that will make them happy, and that makes you happy."
NO: "If you use money to buy a toy, you might play with it for a while, but pretty soon you will just be bored."
The morning followed the protocol of a real debate, with teams, presentation of arguments and supporting evidence from text-based sources, rebuttals, and closing arguments. Debaters even shook hands with opponents at the conclusion of each round.
Aside from learning about debate structure, students practiced important skills of critical thinking: learning to listen carefully to an argument, striving to understand another person's perspective, and being willing to reconsider your own point of view. Watch the video here.