Live Export: Lesson 1 English, Yr 10

Live Export: The Great Debate

In this lesson, students will plan and deliver a formal class debate on the topic of live export. Firstly, students will spend some time discussing and reviewing what is required to deliver an effective debate. They will then apply these skills to an area of concern within the live export industry. Students will have opportunities to discuss and debate various perspectives and ethical questions relating to the live exportation of animals.

Time Allocation

50-100 minutes (depending on students’ prior knowledge of debates, an additional lesson/s may be required)

Voiceless Resources

Other Resources

Inquiry Questions

  • What are the economic and ethical considerations of the live export trade?
  • How does debating controversial societal issues help us to better understand the views and opinions of others?

Suggested Learning Activities


Facilitate a short discussion with your students on the following questions:

  • Have you ever seen, or taken part in a debate?
  • What makes a good debate?


Debating Skills

1. Students watch The Art of Debate, and answer the following questions:

a. Identify the different types of debates.
b. What do all types of debating have in common?
c. Explain, ‘a claim, a warrant, and an impact’?
d. Why do you think people would want to debate issues that they don’t personally agree with?
e. What do judo and debating have in common?
f. What skills do you need to work on to become a good debater?
g. List some of the reasons why debating is a useful skill to develop?

2. Use the following websites to discuss how to conduct and structure a debate, as well as to understand the roles students will need to take.


What is Live Export?

  1. What do you already know about the live export trade?
  2. Read the Voiceless Fact Sheet, Across Land and Sea: Live Export Explained, as a class, in small groups, or independently.
  3. Focus on pages 26-31. Identify the different arguments regarding banning the live export trade in Australia.
  4. Students partner up and take turns reading through pages 30-31 – ‘Debating the Issues’.

The Debate

  1. Divide students into groups of 6 and allocate them one of the following debate questions:

a. The live export trade is necessary for the Australian economy to thrive.

b. Live export is not ethical.

2. Students divide themselves into Affirmative and Negative teams (3 students per team). Direct students to the Voiceless Fact Sheet and Glossary, pointing out the references at the end of the Fact Sheet to help guide their research. Discuss the importance of using credible sources. Allocate your students sufficient time to research, plan and prepare their speeches.

3. Instruct students to use the Planning for a Debate Template.

4. Conduct the debates. You may like to invite an independent judge to adjudicate the debates.

Teacher Tip Icon

  • You may like to split this lesson into two separate lessons; one for debating skills, the other focusing on understanding live export.
  • Depending on class size, you may run a number of different debates over the course of a few lessons. Students who may feel uncomfortable debating, may like to take the position of Chair or work alongside other students to research and write speeches.
  • Consider setting up an anonymous voting system to see where opinions sit after listening to the debates. This will ensure students stay engaged whilst listening to the debates.
  • Care should be taken when/if students are given access to the internet to research live export – some images and articles can be distressing. See the Live Export Teacher Guide for more information.


After all debates have been conducted students can write a short 200-word reflection using the following prompts:

  • Did you have to debate a point of view which you personally disagreed with? If so, what did you learn about yourself in this process?
  • Did the debate change your views on the issues discussed? Why/Why not?


  • Choose one of the debate questions and compose a persuasive piece of writing on the issue. If you have a school newspaper, ask your students to submit their piece of writing. Alternatively, students could design a visual text (poster or infographic) that seeks to inform the wider community on one aspect of the live export industry.

Voiceless would be delighted to receive any completed student work to feature on the Voiceless website (student and parental consent required). Please email any work or feedback to

Voiceless is the home of animal protection education in Australia banner

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  • Join the Voiceless Community

    For academics, advocates, teachers and students, animal lovers, animal lawyers and everyone in between!
    Sign up below to learn more about our Voiceless Grants Program, our free library of resources on Animal Protection Education and Animal Law Education and other Voiceless related tidbits.

  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.