Unit 3: Strategies to Tackle Controversial Issues Inside the Classroom



We have spent time working through what controversial issues are and why these issues matter to our students. Now we can look at how exactly we go about talking about these things inside of the classroom.

  • What ways do you think would be effective to teach students?
  • What do you know about Socratic Seminars, would you use them to talk about controversial topics?
  • Would you want to use classroom debates, set up in groups for students, to talk about these issues?

Please write down and think about these issues.

Learning Targets

  • Students will identify ways on how to talk about C.Is in the classroom.
  • Students will develop a strategy to teach C.Is in their very own classroom.
  • Students will create a lesson plan describing how they would talk about a C.I inside their classroom.

Lesson 3.1: Strategies for how to talk about Issues

When it comes to strategies for talking about Issues inside of the classroom, we often struggle with figuring out how exactly to do it?

Think which ways do you think you could talk about issues inside the classroom?

You should have access to this website, Big List, which shows you various ways to talk about how to get a discussion going inside of the classroom and the various ways you could use them to do it.

Some of those examples are as follows:

  • Socratic Seminar
  • Snowball Discussion
  • Fishbowl Discussion
  • Affinity Mapping

Now that you have read those strategies for classroom discussion, I would like you to decide which one you think you would like to use for your own discussion. This is all to keep your mind active, trust me it is important.

Reflect on everything you have learned over the passed two units and this lesson. Which type of classroom discussion technique would you like to use inside your very own classroom?

Lesson 3.2: Develop your own strategy for an issue close to you.

Now when it comes to this "lesson" I would like you to think of some questions that you could answer. These questions are helpful for you so you are able to decide what works best for you and the demographic of students that you teach.

  • What is your demographic of students?
  • What issue is close to your heart?
  • What issue do you feel would be the most beneficial to you and your students?
  • Has anything impacted your students that you deem necessary to talk about?
  • Are your students ignorant to something important that you feel is necessary to talk about inside the classroom?
  • Are you able to get the parents on board for your discussion?

On the topic of parents, often as teachers, we tend to keep parents in the loop of what happens inside of our classrooms. If the discussion were to move outside of the classroom, you could always alert parents during the entire process. By having a blog post, sending out an email, sending home a letter with the students, updating your teacher webpage if you have one. Always make sure you have the approval of your students' parents before you decide to talk about any issue inside of your classroom. If you refuse, or overstep, then the parents/administrators will come down on you for not contacting parents or following protocol.

Reflect on the different styles of strategies' that we have talked about, which one truly stands out and something you could see yourself using?

Lesson 3.3: Lesson Plan Instructions/Assessment for Unit 3

When we look at controversial issues, when we look at different classroom discussions, when we look at these things that matter to people and the different communities/demographic. When we develop these tasks for inside of the classroom, we will have to develop the lesson plan. Have you any experience with making a lesson plan?

If you have no information or any idea as to how to make a lesson plan you could use this website HERE to help you figure it out.

You could also watch this video to help you out as well.

Coming up with an Essential Question -EQ- (aim)?

Examples of an EQ would be:

  • What arguments could be made for why the Civil War was made?
  • What arguments could someone make for having an abortion? Is Abortion murder? Why?
  • Where does free speech end? Who should have the final say when it comes to free speech?

You could even make correct learning targets or learning objectives for the discussion?

  • Students will be able to explain and understand different points of view.
  • Students will be able to accurately discuss various issues.

These are some of the things that you could add to your lesson plan.

As an educator you should know and follow whatever style of lesson plan template that you would like to do.

Please spend time to think. As your assessment will be a culmination of everything that we have done and talked about these past three units.

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