Grade Level & Subject: Middle School History
Lesson: Friday Forum (Day 4)
State Standards and Benchmarks
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:
• Listen attentively to others
• Present their position on the issue in a clear and concise way
• Evaluate arguments presented
• Refute arguments using logic
• Re-evaluate their position based on evidence presented
Rationale/Purpose for the Lesson
Students need opportunities to discuss/debate important issues of the day. The goal of education is to show students they have a “voice”. Another goal is to help create informed, evaluative citizens that are willing to take a position on an issue and do something about it.
• Student Journal
Tell students they will be graded on their participation in today’s discussion/debate. Let them know they may refer to their notes during the discussion/debate. Explain that debate DOES NOT mean personal attacks on each other.
Procedure (Teachers act ONLY as a facilitator NOT a participant)
Option #1: You may divide the class in half. While the first half is carrying out the discussion/debate the other half are taking notes on what they are hearing and seeing. Then the roles are switched.
Option #2: You could do this as a whole group.
Summarize the ideas that were presented. Don’t evaluate them. Let them know they will be writing letters to the editor tomorrow. You may want to collect the journals or let the students keep them until they finish their letters.