Teaching Strategies  




Here the entire class actively involves themselves in a lively discussion on a topic that can be considered controversial. Just be careful that the topics are appropriate for the age group, and that you follow your district controversial issues policy. The instructor introduces an issue and invites students to first write about it for a few minutes. The students then arrange themselves in a line according to their opinion on the issue with one end of the line being "for" and the other being "against," and the middle being the spectrum of opinions in between. Students have the opportunity then to explain why they placed themselves in their position in line. There can also be time for rebuttals, and there should also be an opportunity for students to switch poitions if they feel so inclined. At the end, students get a chance to do some more writing where they reflect on the whole experience. The skill of civic dialogue should be taught and maintained.

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The teacher featured in this video is Pam Su'a, Social Studies Consultant at Jordan School District.

Contact her for more information at