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Choose A Position_Debate


What is your position on this issue?
Consider the research you have undertaken, and use it to inform the crafting of an evidence-based position on the issue. 

Time To Complete 

1 Day

Common Core Standards 

  • CCRA.R.8
  • CCRA.W.1

I Can Statements 

  • I can
    • introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically. (6-8.WHST.1a)
    • establish a clear position on an issue in a thesis statement or introductory paragraph.
    • acknowledge and distinguish counter claims.
  • I will know my main idea or thesis statement is of high quality if it:
    • Draws conclusions that are supported by clear reasons and strong evidence uncovered by my research


Suggestions for Assessing Student Readiness to Move Forward:

  • Confer with students, asking probing questions about their main idea, their reasons and evidence, and exploring counter claims to gauge how well their position meets the quality criteria.
  • Ask students to lay out their claims, reasons, and evidence in a thesis statement, draft introductory paragraph, or suitable pre-writing activity.
  • Ask students to self-evaluate their work after completing one of the activities below. 
Possible Activities 
  1. Ask students to use a mapping or outlining strategy like mind-mapping, Cornell notes, or T-charts to help them organize their thinking around their position. 

  2. If you are writing with your students, use the synthesis protocol detailed at http://www.west.asu.edu/johnso/synthesis/learners.html to model your own synthesis of research.

  3. Have student discuss or free-write about their understanding of and position on the issue they have researched. 

  4. Using a graphic organizer, have students weigh the evidence for and against the position they have chosen to ensure that the evidence supports their position.  Or, in pairs, have a partner write and ask questions that may poke holes in the evidence supporting the chosen position, then have the student decide after answering the questions if their position is truly supported by evidence. 

  5. Using a graphic organizer, have students weigh the benefits and potential pitfalls of the position they have chosen to ensure they fully understand and agree with the ramifications of their chosen position. 

  6. Create a class mural, asking all students to make a symbol for their position on an issue. After posting the symbols and explaining their positions, ask students to describe their views on the position, either verbally or by placing a Post-it with comments next to particular symbols.

Downloadable Resources 
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