History Debate Lesson Plan
1. Listen to a social studies song or watch a video. Select a topic on which to focus the debate. Create a statement related to that topic that is written in the affirmative, and then write the counter point. For example:
By and large, American Indians lived well-balanced lives that should be models for our own lives.
You can also have students create their own argumentative statements. If so, remind them to write down statements with which a reasonable person might disagree.
2. Divide the class into two or more groups and assign each group a side of the debate. The "pro" group will argue for the statement. The "con" group will argue against it. Explain to students that they don't need to personally agree with the statement in order to argue for it in a debate.
3. Using the clickable lyrics, have students research the topic. You may wish to hold a class discussion about the facts if it is a complex topic. You can have students do further internet research as well. Each group should work independently to write down points that will support their argument. Students can use their personal opinions to guide them, but they should back up their opinions with facts whenever possible. You may want to allow students to use lines from the Week in Rap as supporting evidence.
4. Once students have researched their topic, they should come up with a list of points that could support their argument. When finished, ask students to think about what the other side might argue and how they might address those points.
5. After students have filled in their charts, you can have a group discussion or a more formal debate. In a more formal debate, one student from the affirmative side will share points. Then a student from the negative side will share. Each side will have a set time to rebut (or argue against) the other side's arguments before the class declares a winner.
6. For further challenge, students can write lyrics to support their side in the argument. Use the Writing Academic Rhymes lesson.