Listen to the "Speech" song off of Baz Luhrman's "Something for Everyone" (you can find this at Camelot Music and other popular cd/tape shops). Have students discuss points they agree and disagree with. Have students write a persuasive essay (about 1 page) to persuade you to believe like they do about the opinions offered in the song. My kids (middle school to age 18) loved this activity. It promotes critical thinking, increased self esteem, and writing skills.