Take a Stand (Hot Seat Game): The Court of Public Opinion

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  1. Provided in this bundle are 7 separate activities on the subject of CREATING REPUTATIONS. Handouts are student friendly and ready to pass out; parental involvement is a theme throughout the unit and required on homework assignments. Digital Citizenship (online reputations) are discussed, and there i
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Students are shown a variety of scenarios (28 total) in which they may be judged by 'the court of public opinion'. When discussing REPUTATIONS, this activity gets students thinking about real world examples of behaviors they are being judged for (and judging others for).

Objective: I know how to create a strong claim without using ¨I¨, and today I will verbalize my opinions by making claims on a variety of grade level issues - by providing logical evidence for my standpoints

Introduction: Hot Seat - how it works...explain the rules to students


1. Label two sides of the classroom YEA and BOO

2. Place 4 hot seats (two at each side of the room) so there is a Hot Seat area for each side - the hot seat may be a desk, chair, table, stage box...anything really

3. Have all students stand in the middle of the room

4. Reveal the first issue (large on the screen) and read it aloud. Have students decide their position/opinion and move/walk to the appropriate side of the room

5. Once all students are set, provide 1 minute of discussion time - encourage students to offer and gather convincing reasons with their peers which will support their opinion. TELL STUDENTS THEY MAY SWITCH SIDES AT ANY POINT DURING DISCUSSION!

6. The teacher will choose 4 students (2 from each side) to take the Hot Seats - the students never know if or when they will be chosen...so encourage them to take discussion time seriously!

7. YEA side always goes first - these 2 students will say their claim (practice avoiding "I think/feel" statements) and give logical reasons/evidence - force students to say ___ should/not because ___. The teacher should take notes while students speak. STUDENTS MAY ALSO SWITCH SIDES AT ANY POINT DURING THE HOT SEAT EVIDENCE!

8. Then turn to the BOO side - these 2 students will say their claim (practice avoiding "I think/feel" statements) and give logical reasons/evidence - force students to say ___ should/not because ___. The teacher should take notes while students speak. THIS IS THE FINAL OPPORTUNITY WHERE STUDENTS MAY SWITCH SIDES!

9. Based on their notes, the teacher will decide which side won this round - all students on the winning side get 1 point (students keep track of their own points)

10. Send all students back to the middle and repeat with a new issue each round. MAKE SURE ALL STUDENTS GET AT LEAST ONE TURN IN THE HOT SEAT! You may have to play multiple rounds over a few days to make that happen.

Closure: Count up how many rounds you were able to complete - if you got through 5 rounds, then there may be a student who earned 5 points from the game if they were on the winning side each round. Reward the students with the most points at the end of the game with something small - like candy, stickers, House Points, supplies, etc

Total Pages
29 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented.
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.


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