Teach Argument with Debate a Side

By on October 28, 2013

Last year, LiteracyTA created an activity called Debate a Side. This interactive, student-centered activity asks students to formulate claims and support those claims with evidence. Implementing Debate a Side is a great way to teach the Common Core argument standards for literacy in history, science and English.

To support our teachers, we have developed a few Debate a Side prompts and clear steps to help implement this activity.

We also link back to relevant skills in our Skill Library.

In our Skill Library, you can access Debate a Side handouts and language resources. As always, we link our skills to the Common Core State Standards.

Here are some topics that might be interesting to students:

  1. Should schools require students to wear uniforms?
  2. Should schools be allowed to sell energy drinks?
  3. Should schools give students access to Facebook?
  4. Should students be allowed to use cell phones in class?
  5. We need to lower the (driving or voting) age?
  6. Students should be allowed to use mobile devices like smartphones and iPads in class.
  7. We should stop making products out of plastic.
  8. Young students should not be allowed to play contact sports like hockey and football.
  9. Middle school and high school campuses should have designated bike and skate paths in and around their schools.
  10. Students should be allowed to work at the age of 13.

Try Debate a Side and let us know what you think. Your students will love this activity.

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Literacy Standards In Action

We've mapped our literacy lessons and reading, speaking, and writing skills to state standards, Common Core, and NGSS. The standards are "the what" to teach. Our lessons are "the how" to meet the expectations defined by the standards. Click on the links below to view our quick reference table that maps standards to literacy lessons.

Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
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