Hello fellow EETs! The debate season is upon us and you are probably wary of wading into it (and rightly so). However, there is such a gold mine of communications assessment here. The most powerful job in the world being decided in a large part on how a person can communicate! I may not know your state standards, but I can bet there is a communication aspect there. So how do we tap this resource without getting fired?
By removing the political opinion from it completely. You don;t need to know who your kids will vote for (assuming they are seniors and can vote). Your kids don't need to know who you vote for. Use this handout and your students can do a quick assessment of the candidate's speaking skills plus you are putting them into the situation where they can hear for themselves what the candidate has to say and make up their own mind. I would say that is pretty extreme indeed.
Just make a copy of it and give it to your students. I know I waited late to share this - the first debate is tomorrow! I let it slip up on me!
Also, I know this is a very basic analysis of communication skills. This is where my students are at. Feel free to adjust it for your own purposes - just be careful if you get into anything that is requiring a student to reveal to you their political preference.