In our current writing unit on persuasive writing, the students are working towards writing a letter addressed to someone (or a group of people) and in that letter, share a concern or idea they may have on a topic they feel is important to them. This letter will also serve as the basis for their speech on the same topic. It is my hope that they choose a topic they feel passionate about.
Today, the students brainstormed ideas for the letter. The topics the students came up with were quite diverse.
Some of the topics the students brainstormed included:
- should animals be kept in zoos/MarineLand?
- using respectful language
- the dangers of video games, Pokemon Go
- girls should be treated as equals to boys
- girls and women should be represented equally in sports
- the importance of school (don’t take it for granted)
We began the unit with an activity called 4 Corners. Each corner of the classroom had a sign that read either Strongly Agree, Agree, Strongly Disagree, Disagree. The students had to think about their position on the topic and decide which sign to stand under. They needed to be able to justify why they believed what they did and were even allowed to change their minds if another group persuaded them to do so.
Topics ranged from “Should animal testing be allowed?” to “Should children be allowed to have a TV in their bedroom?”. Several students were very passionate about their opinion while others were more easily swayed in any direction. Lots of chatter and discussion around these topics gave the students plenty of opportunity to practice their debating skills and how to respectfully disagree.
What is one topic/issue you feel strongly for or against?