Doing a lesson on Texas v. Johnson Majority Opinion and/or the newspaper editorial “American Flag Stands for Tolerance”? Or perhaps you are teaching more generally about the First Amendment or the concept of freedom of speech?
Hook your students from the start with this engaging activity that has them taking a stand (literally!) and presenting arguments on the fly. This informal debate activity was created as a pre-reading activity to Texas v. Johnson Majority Opinion and "American Flag Stands for Tolerance." However, it works great as a pre- or post-reading activity for a wide variety of texts or lessons related to flag burning, the First Amendment, and/or our constitutional right to protest. It is particularly timely and relevant, considering this year's election as well as recent news stories about sports figures using the National Anthem as a form of protest.
The lesson includes:
Detailed 1-2 day Lesson Plan
—with step-by-step instructions for success
—in which students take a stand on a list of debatable statements related to our flag and freedom of speech and do a quick-write on each
Five Corners Activity Posters
—so that students can “vote with their feet” to show their level of agreement with each statement
Written Reflection Worksheet
—so that students can reflect upon their learning
Learning Scale and Self-Assessment
—so that students clearly understand the learning goal and can monitor their progress
Vocabulary Builder Worksheets
—for those teachers specifically teaching Texas v. Johnson and/or “American Flag Stands for Tolerance.”
This lesson, aligned to the Common Core State Standards, will enable students to hone their speaking, listening and argumentation skills—all while having fun along the way.
Common Core State Standards Covered:
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.
Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
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Key words: Supreme Court decision, landmark Supreme Court cases, landmark Supreme Court decision, Texas v. Johnson, Texas vs. Johnson, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, First Amendment debate, American flag, flag burning, protest, informational text, nonfiction, non-fiction, flag burning debate, four corners activity, five corners activity, HMH Grade 10 Collection 1