Class OnAir Lesson 7.mp4

Direct Instruction

As students came into the room I began spinning an online “fruit machine” set up with their names, and asked two students to write the names that popped up onto the board into one of four teams. Then I introduced the debate topic. “Is this social studies?!” said one of the boys. They had previously debated in social studies, so had some idea of what a debate would involve. I introduced the topic and the sheet they could record ideas on. This also could have taken the form of an online Google Doc they could all contribute to. Students were making progress with their research but were not ready to debate after the given 20 minutes, and requested that they continue researching and hold the debate during the following lesson, which we did and filmed the outcome. I have featured the arguments of our two 'Class OnAir' stars during the episode, as well as a particularly strong opening from Chyrus.

Extended plan here


If I was to do this lesson again I would use a double-period to introduce the content in a more engaging way with a more interesting hook (due to time pressure the ‘hook’ was the random selection process of the teams!) I would also show a video modelling a debate in a fun context. A double-period would have allow students more time to research as well, and also allow me time at the end (maybe 20 minutes) to help support teams to form full team arguments. Students enjoyed the research and planning more than the debate and were a little shy to speak in front of their peers. If we were to repeat this I would support students further in the format a debate should take, to build their confidence speaking and sharing. Overall, I think everyone learnt a thing or two about the help or harm bacteria and fungi can provide to humans.

Class Site Content

WALT: Debate on the help and hard to humans caused by microorganisms Living World Site here.


Students were placed in random teams and conducted online research to find facts about the help/harm caused by bacteria or fungi.


Teams worked together to discuss their points and divide them between team members to plan their argument.


Every student had a speaking role in their team during the debate and shared at least one fact to support their team's argument.




Learner Generated Content

Features in video - nothing written this lesson

Features in video - nothing written this lesson

Nicola Wells

Manaiakalani Research

Manaiakalani Education Trust

PO Box 18 061, Glen Innes

Auckland, New Zealand