Social Studies Extracurriculars
The Social Studies department partners with District schools to offer a wide variety of extracurricular activities, including:
Debate and Oratorical
Pursuant to the District’s Strategic Plan to embrace a commitment to the whole child in order to unlock their full potential, the Department of Social Studies is dedicated to helping students participate in Debate and Oratorical programming throughout the District.
DPSCD students engage in policy debate which is a two-on-two competition focused around a question where an affirmative team proposes a plan in response to the question and a negative team argues against the proposed plan. Affirmative teams must consider the state of affairs and why a plan is needed (called the “harms”), how their policy would fix the intended harms, and advantages to their policy. Negative teams can argue that the proposed plan does not fix the intended harms (referred to as “the plan does not solve”) or that the plan has disadvantages.
DPSCD students debate in local tournaments through the Detroit Urban Debate League.
Oratorical competitions invite students to write an original speech on a topic of their choosing or a specified topic. Students must memorize their speech then deliver their speech to an audience where they will be celebrated based on persuasiveness, delivery, speaking skills, and use of facts to support their argument. An oratorical speech should include an introduction, body, and conclusion.
Public speaking can be daunting for anyone, but especially middle and high school students. Participation in oratorical competitions allows students to build confidence, develop leadership skills, and engage in activities that promote critical thinking.
Students can be creative in crafting their arguments in oratorical speeches – they don’t need to pick a particular side of a debate but instead can shape their response based upon their own opinions and values. This builds ownership in students by encouraging buy-in.
DPSCD students engage in Mikva Challenge’s Project Soapbox for oratorical competitions.
Michigan Youth in Government
Michigan Youth in Government is a middle and high school program designed to provide leadership training to meet the needs of a democratic society and to develop an understanding and awareness of Michigan state government and national issues. Michigan Youth in Government fosters an inclusive environment in which students develop an understanding and appreciation of the diversity of others. Michigan Youth in Government aims to strengthen young people and communities through emphasizing character development and the values of care, honesty, respect, and responsibility in all that we do.
Michigan History Day
Michigan History Day® is a project-based experience through the Historical Society of Michigan. Students engage in a yearlong educational program that encourages students to explore local, state, national, and world history.