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From Provocative to Productive - NewseumEd

Grades
4 to 12
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Turn uncomfortable, sensitive topic discussions in your classroom into a learning tool for developing critical thinking skills with NewseumEd's guidelines for helping you and your students...more
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Turn uncomfortable, sensitive topic discussions in your classroom into a learning tool for developing critical thinking skills with NewseumEd's guidelines for helping you and your students discuss issues respectfully. Topics like racial tensions, politics, and religion can become a classroom learning tool to teach the art of dialogue and to increase respectful public speaking, confidence, engagement, and listening skills. Read and use the four guidelines: confidence in your content, respectfulness of your participants, asking questions, and encouraging debate, and be the best the facilitator you can be. You must be a registered NewseumEd member to access this resource; however, membership is free.

tag(s): debate (46), listening (81), speaking (23)

In the Classroom

Have this lesson handy when a controversial or contentious subject emerges. You just never know when that will happen, but you can run with it if you prepare using these NewseumEd guidelines. Share them with students, so they will understand what they need to do to participate successfully in a discussion or debate. Are there no issues at hand? Try finding one using Teachable Moments, reviewed here. At Teachable Moments find lesson plans based on articles and current topics, ready for download in PDF format. Try giving students a choice! Show them several subjects and use Dotstorming, reviewed here, to comment and vote on topics for the discussion. Use the opportunity to hone students information literacy skills by reviewing how to evaluate and cite sources. Once they have researched their topic, and are ready to discuss, use a tool such as Socratic Smackdown, reviewed here, to practice their discussion and argument strategies. With older students, a next step might be to take the debate public using Virtual Debate, reviewed here, which has online examples and resources for conducting virtual debates.

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