No study of the Constitution or current events is complete without a well researched and organized class debate. This resource provides teacher and student guidance through the 2nd Amendment debate process-- researching the Amendment and its modern application, the debate format, and a written reflection to conclude.
This bundle includes:
- Ppt to guide class
- Research organizers for student use
- Four sourced documents to spur research
- Sentence starters for debate participant use
- Sideline organizer for students to use when not debating
You might be thinking, "I have 36 kids in my class! Research-- I'm good with. But how can I possibly facilitate a debate where all voices are heard while still maintaining order?!" Well, you can do it. It might be a different debate format than you're used to, definitely different than what a member of the debate team is used to, but it works for a class setting where all voices need to be heard. It is a hybrid accountable talk/structured academic controversy/debate form.
As a former basketball coach, I apply principals of coaching and rules of basketball to my U.S. History classroom all the time. Basketball references and structures are scattered throughout this debate and I have found students respond very well to it.
First, lead your students through research on the 4 guiding questions provided. Use the resources you have -- your Chromebooks, iPads, PEDs, computer labs, or good old fashion books. Four sourced documents are provided to get your started-- use them if you would like. Student organizers are also provided detailing the four focus questions.
Then, after the class has researched both sides of the issue, transition to the debate. Divide your class in half so that you have two sides. Each side elects a team captain. The captain will create a "Starting 5" line- up for each of the 4 focus questions. These questions will become separate "rounds" of the debate. Each member of the team will be placed on the line-up for one round before anyone appears on the line-up twice.
Teams may be 15-20 people, but only 5 people from each side will be debating at any given moment. Captains have "Time Out priveledges"-- a chance to pause discourse for 30 seconds so that debaters can report to their teams to receive guidance from their peers. Then, the dialogue resumes for the remaining amount of time.
When time expires, the teacher moderator reminds team captains to call out the line-up for the next question, the new players sub-in for the previous players, and the next question resumes. Transition time is minimized because of the team captains leadership role, and the debate rolls on.
Please feel free to ask any questions about this format!! I have used it for EVERY SINGLE announced formal observation for the last 3 years (topics vary) and I always do well because it is STUDENT FOCUSED! The teacher is merely the moderator, the discussions and even leadership is provided by the students. The sentence starters ensure students are using debate etiquette and respectful accountable talk.
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