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Research Both Sides of the Issue_Debate


What do people know, say, and believe about this issue?
Find and analyze resources that will help you grasp the topic’s key concepts, in addition to deepening your understanding of the range of perspectives about the issue.

Time To Complete 

1-2 Days

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.2
  • CCRA.R.8
  • CCRA.W.7
  • CCRA.W.8

I Can Statements 

  • I can conduct research by:
    • gathering relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively.  (6-8.WHST.8)
    • assessing the credibility and accuracy of each source. (6-8.WHST.8)
  • I will know my research is of high quality if it:
    • provides me the opportunity to learn more about my topic
    • challenges me to deepen my thinking about my topic by asking questions for clarity and understanding
    • comes from multiple relevant, current, reliable, and varied sources, while favoring primary sources over secondary sources
    • has been systematically recorded and organized to support the proper citation of sources


Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with students, asking probing questions about their research process to gauge how well their research meets the quality criteria.
  • Ask students to list their sources and explain (orally or in writing) how they meet the quality criteria for a high quality research.
  • Ask students to show you their notes and briefly describe (orally or in writing) their system for recording and organizing the results of their research.
  • Ask students to self-evaluate their work after completing one of the activities below. 
Possible Activities 
  1. Once students have chosen an issue to debate, have them complete the first columns of a KWHLAQ chart (http://www.flickr.com/photos/langwitches/5958295132/). If you have a set of class research resources, have them preview the books on their topic to frontload as a scaffold. 

  2. Model for students how to take notes and record data. You can offer students several graphic organizers for note-taking and data collection, or teach them one strategy, such as Cornell. There are some middle school level resources that can easily be modified for upper- or lower-grade students. See http://infotech.spsd.org/MS/ms_research_step4.html.

  3. Have students record arguments they encounter in their research on both sides of the issue. This can be done in a pros-and-cons chart or using other graphic organizers for support. 

  4. Have students complete an “I Wonder/The Author Says/I say/And So” chart: http://moormangb.ced.appstate.edu/5200_f10/unit1/author_says.pdf

Downloadable Resources 
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