Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Making Civics Real Workshop 7: Controversial Public Policy Issues  
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Workshop 7

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Lesson Plan: Teaching the Lesson: Activity 2

Activity 2: Teams Prepare for Debate
In this activity, students will begin research about the topic itself. JoEllen Ambrose prepared a research packet of 11 articles (see Bibliography of Research Articles) that helped students look at the topic from different perspectives, including both national and local sources, and directed students to select a research partner. Some teachers may wish to create the student pairings and/or to have the students find their own articles.

Begin the activity by asking students: What is racial profiling? Does it exist? Where? When? Is it a good practice? Why or why not? These questions are designed to move students through Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives in the cognitive domain from simple definition through analysis to evaluation. This discussion is also a good time for students to relate their own experiences and to compare their own communities with the national picture.

Advise students that in the next activity they will need to be able to support a particular position. In pairs, students should begin to explore the topic in greater depth by reading the articles. JoEllen Ambrose allowed the student pairs to devise their own methods for doing the research; in some cases, each partner took responsibility for half of the articles. This activity could be completed as homework, but if you choose this option, be sure to provide about 20 minutes the next day for students to refresh their memories and pull together their positions.

JoEllen Ambrose calls this activity “a civil conversation” in which students take a big controversial public policy topic and define it, explain it, and evaluate it.

Overview, Goals, and Planning    |     Activity 1     |     Activity 2     |     Activity 3
Activity 4     |     Activity 5     |     Activity 6     |     Scheduling and Adaptations


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