The learning intention for this lesson was for the students to research and create an argument and to debate their ideas in order to strengthen their understanding of the issue.
This lesson took place in the middle of a week long sequence of lessons. The class were focussing on writing effective introductions, however these learners had met the learning intention before the rest of the class. This gave me the opportunity to facillitate a debate with a smaller group and to teach them my expectations around argumentation. This debate was then used to model this approach to the rest of the class.
This lesson took place shortly after I introduced reciprocal reading. This meant that we could link the two approaches and discuss some of the expectations, such as one person speaking at a time, active listening and using sentence starters such as "I agree with". This meant that despite it being our first debate in this class, the students were able to quickly follow the structure that I had set up and the discussion flowed really naturally. This will provide a good model for the remainder of the class.
Things to note
The debate itself went on for almost 20 minutes and the only intervention from me was to remind them of the expectations around things like active listening - I did not have to prompt discussion at any time. Because of the length of the debate I had to cut down a lot of the discussion, but I included a section I felt was quite representative of the session.
Class Site Content
WALT: to research and create an argument
WALT: debate their ideas in order to strengthen their understanding of the issue.
Watch the videos and read the texts on the argumentation board. Consider the format of an argument and the idea of a "to and fro" conversation.
Synthesise the information from the argumentation board and create your own argument on the topic.
Share your ideas with the group during the debate.