Should School be a Place for Debate?

This Should School be a Place for Debate? lesson plan also includes:

Ostensibly about the 1955-1965 Civil Rights Movement, this resource is actually the first of a series of 24 lessons that model for learners how to examine multiple perspectives, as well as the evidence used to support a particular stance. An additional exercise has pairs practice developing discussions by offering arguments for and against the basic question, "Should school be a place for debate?" All the resources in the series follow the same pattern: a debatable topic is introduced; arguments for and against the question are presented; links to evidence for both sides of the issue are included; and a pair-share exercise has pairs practice building an argument. Consider using these resources weekly as a skill-building activity.

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Classroom Considerations
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • The grammar worksheet, which models how to build adjectives from verbs, asks learners to identify debatable topics they would like to discuss
  • The illustrated Developing Discussions worksheet models for class members how to engage in and develop an academic discussion
  • Includes a reading and a grammar skill-building exercise


  • The weekly passage providing background information on the civil rights movement is poorly crafted