What we believe, and why do we believe that? This lesson confronts advanced speakers and high school students with controversial statements which they must consider and agree or disagree.
- Students will be active throughout the entire lesson.
- Students will lead discussion and debate.
- All students will present a personal opinion to the rest of the class.
- Students will be able to clearly state and define their personal opinions on controversial topics.
- Students will work in teams to establish a clear, defined presentation.
Time: One 50-minute class period.
Material requirements: blackboard; the list of controversial statements below.
- Everyone is basically good.
- People should be able to critcize the government.
- Man should be the leader of the family.
- Beauty is a matter of personal preference.
- Personality is more important than beauty.
- Love can last forever.
- Students should have religious classes in school.
- Blondes aren’t as smart as brunettes.
- Violence is necessary sometimes.
- All students should be required to speak English.
- Teachers are always right.
- Men are smarter than women.
- Money is more important than love.
- Possession of drugs should require jail time.
Begin by writing a statement written on the board. There there, the students will have to say if they “agree,” “disagree,” or “don’t know.” You should place signs around the room so the students physically group according to their opinion. From here, raise a discussion on the importance of a personal opinion.
Continue along this same vein. Read the list of controversial topics and have the students move to the sign which they agree with. Ask several students why they feel the way they do.
Break the students up into groups of 3-4 and give each of them a controversial topic. Ask them to discuss their topic and then present their opinions to the class. The class will ask questions to each group and then decide if they agree or disagree with the statement.
Finally, discuss how their opinions may have changed, how working in a group affected their opinions-how hearing things from their classmates might have persuaded them to change their opinions.