Grade Level & Subject: Middle School History
Lesson: Friday Forum (Day 5)
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:
• Evaluate their performance in the class discussion/debate
• Write a letter to the editor in a clear, concise manner
Rationale/Purpose for the Lesson
Students need practice in expressing their ideas and opinions in a non-threatening manner. They need practice in formulating positions on topics that affect their lives. As educators we need to provide opportunities whenever possible.
• Student Journals to be collected
• Friday Forum Self-Assessment form
• How to Write a Letter to the Editor instruction sheet
Tell students that today’s work will be to bring the unit to a close. They will be completing the final activities.
1. Distribute the Friday Forum Self-Assessment form
2. Give students time to complete
3. As a class debrief the forum
a. What was positive about the experience?
b. What was negative about the experience?
c. What was the most difficult aspect of the experience?
d. What did you learn from this experience?
4. Distribute “How to Write a Letter to the Editor”
5. Go over as a class and answer questions
6. Give students time to write
Let students know they have just completed a unit of study that was designed to teach them about Michigan’s judicial system with an emphasis on the Supreme Court. Remind them that in a short time they, as citizens, will be asked to vote for those who sit on the bench of these courts. Encourage them NOT to take the matter lightly.