Grade Level & Subject: Middle School History
Lesson: Friday Forum (Day 3)
State Standard and Benchmark
Social Studies. Strand 6: Public Discourse and Decision Making. Standard 6.1: Identifying and Analyzing Issues. Students will state an issue clearly as a question of public policy, trace the origins of the issue, analyze various perspectives people bring to the issue, and evaluate possible ways to resolve the issue. Standard 6.2: Group Discussion. 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 decisions.
Students will be able to:
• Read a variety of information to gain knowledge
• Form an opinion on an important public concern
• Defend their position with supporting data
• Evaluate arguments that may be contrary to his/her own
• Express his/her position in written form to convince others of its validity
Rationale/Purpose for Lesson
The “Friday Forum” is a series of class activities designed to engage students in controversial issues. It is essentially a trial-run on the Extended Response Questions used in the Social Studies MEAP and High School Proficiency Tests.
• Student Journals
• Handout “What To Do in a Friday Forum”
Tell students they will be searching the internet for relevant information that would support their position for the forum.
1. Have students use the internet to locate additional information that will assist them in the forum. Record the site address and take notes in the journal.
Remind students they will be discussing/debating their position tomorrow.
The journal must be completed tomorrow. Have students prepare for tomorrow’s discussion/debate by reading the handout “What To Do in a Friday Forum”.