Lesson 9: Friday Forum (Day 1)

Grade Level & Subject: Middle School History
Lesson: Friday Forum (Day 1)


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.

Lesson Objectives
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.

Resources/Materials Needed
• Student Journal
• Copies of articles on the subject

Let students know they are beginning to prepare for a discussion/debate on a hot topic, the concealed weapons law.

1. Hand out the Student Journal
2. Go over journal to see what will be expected
3. Have students begin reading articles, taking notes, and preparing for the forum
4. Talk to students about the “open ended” questions they need to write. These questions will be used to interview an adult in their home about the topic.

Tell students they will continue tomorrow to gather information for the forum. Remind them they should be reading articles that present both pro and con perspectives with regard to the forum question.

Guided Study/Homework
Students should be working on the journal packet that will be collected at the end of the forum.

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