Grade: Senior

#4307. Ready Set Debate!

Social Studies, level: Senior
Posted Wed Dec 10 16:09:32 PST 2008 by Kathleen Abair (Kathleen Abair).
Wayne State University, Detroit, USA
Materials Required: Computer, Camcorder, School Auditorium
Activity Time: 7-10 days
Concepts Taught: Learning how to successfully debate vs. plain arguing, dealing with ethical uses of technology

Student Teacher's Name: Kathleen Abair Date: 12-10-08

Grade Level 7-12 Topic/Unit: School: District:

This lesson will be a debate. Students will learn techniques concerning successful debates; what they entail, things to avoid, how to debate as compared to "argue." Students will engage each other in constructive conversation concerning public/social issues. They will take into consideration Core Democratic Values, consequences of ethical/unethical decisions/behavior/actions.

SOCIAL STUDIES Standard VI.2 Group Discussion
All students will engage their peers in constructive
conversation about matters of public concern by clarifying
issues, considering opposing views, applying democratic
values, anticipating consequences, and working toward making

TECHNOLOGY METS 2.3. discuss possible long-range effects of unethical uses of technology (e.g., virus spreading, fi le pirating, hacking) on cultures and society

Learning Resources and Materials
Media Center
Computer Use
Debate to take place in the auditorium

Development of Lesson
Discussions about debates will take place. Appropriate language and behavior, differences between debate and argue.
Class discussion on the topics to be used. Class discussion, with note taking, on how each student understands the topic. Research on the computer regarding the topic will be utilized. Students must connect this topic to an aspect of their own lives - choose a topic of interest.

Students will be told that the debate will be video-taped. The camcorder will be used throughout the project; taping progress along the way.
Students may be grouped for discussions and preliminary research, if there are not enough computers. To meet the technological standard students will choose a topic concerning unethical uses of technology: virus spreading, file pirating, hacking; and its effect on society.
Students will select the unethical use, research the pros and cons of the issue. Choose a side and debate that side. Instructor will ensure that there are an equal number of students doing both pro and con. The school auditorium will be utilized for the debates.
Debates will be video-taped.

Special needs students will be paired with another student - chosen by the instructor. Research can be done together. Both students can work on the pros and cons together; developing a side and constructing an outline to use. Each student, if possible, will individually debate.
Students will work closely with the instructor to ensure both opinions are included.

Rubrics of expectations will be given to the students. Class discussions afterwards will reveal how well each student thinks the other did. Parent volunteers will be utilized as judges for the debate. They will fill out evaluations for the students. Those evals will be taken into consideration, however, sometimes parents are biased, so the instructor will have the final word.

The class, as a whole, will watch the final video. Students can see the progress they made, the strengths/weaknesses of their performance, and hear stronger/weaker arguments made. Stories of how this project effects society will be discussed.
They will be asked what they thought of the project, what changes could be made, and how this lesson could be used for other lessons and/or topics.