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View Full Version : Debate about organ transplants [yeh] - thoughts?



Jiggit
March 6th, 2012, 14:46
So my JTE wants to have a debate lesson (preferrably a two-part lesson) on a section of the textbook which talks about organ donors/organ transplants. Whilst I agree that it's a way more interesting subject than most of the other nonsense they do, I kind of expect it to be massively intimidating for the kids and the only way they'll be able to "debate" it is if I put them in big groups, write out a list of sentences with blanks to fill in and then have them stand up one at a time to read them aloud. Obviously I'd rather steer away from doing something so sterile but with classes of 40 I can see other ways may just draw blanks.

So basically I was wondering if anyone had any pointers or experiences with running debates in class. It's an academic high school so perhaps all hope is not lost. What kind of activities can I do to get them to actually engage and share their opinions outside of rubbing their heads, telling me it's difficult and then filling in the blanks in generic worksheets?

Jiggit
March 6th, 2012, 14:56
I did a debate activity with JHS 3rd years last year. The first period we introduced the material and they wrote sentences. I had provided them with some vocab and they also had access to dictionaries. Pulling from the textbook, we also wrote basic phrases on the board to get them started ("I think 〜 because" being the big one).

The kids were split into two groups because we were doing a line debate (first kid does opener, next kid makes argument, kid from other side rebuts, kid from first team goes, ad nauseum until the last kids give closers).

The second period they each said their piece. While they weren't advanced enough to adapt their arguments to actually rebut each other, it was interesting to see the teams consulting as they determined what the other group had said.

Yeah see this was kind of my idea (well I mean definitely going to use the first class just for comprehension and reviewing the sentences/vocab they'll need). But I'm trying to think of a way to get them to have an actual back and forth without excluding the majority of kids. How big were your classes when you did this?

Jiggit
March 6th, 2012, 16:30
Ho hum. Oh well thanks anyway, we'll see. Worst comes to worst it'll be only slightly less boring than usual...

coop52
March 7th, 2012, 15:16
My classes have 40 kids as well, and we did a discussion/debate class about the good and bad points of vending machines (I know it's not that interesting, but it was in the book). First lesson, I gave them information about the topic and let them think of what to say(in Japanese first, then helped them with the English). The second lesson was group discussion, then sharing with the class. The problem with my kids was that their English level is really low, so mostly it was just saying their opinion that they had written on their worksheet and no one acknowledged each other's ideas. Your kids might be able to do it if you explain to them how exactly to debate.

Jiggit
March 8th, 2012, 09:22
My classes have 40 kids as well, and we did a discussion/debate class about the good and bad points of vending machines (I know it's not that interesting, but it was in the book). First lesson, I gave them information about the topic and let them think of what to say(in Japanese first, then helped them with the English). The second lesson was group discussion, then sharing with the class. The problem with my kids was that their English level is really low, so mostly it was just saying their opinion that they had written on their worksheet and no one acknowledged each other's ideas. Your kids might be able to do it if you explain to them how exactly to debate.

The problem is time... they could understand and actually do it, but not if I have 40 kids present and then respond. Unless I split them into just 2 or 4 groups but then the group size would be ridiculous and half the class would have a snooze. I did something similar to this before but they actually got to use Japanese. I think it would take them a good 15 or 20 minutes to be able to think of a genuine counterargument and even then they'd have to actively try to do it, which some classes would not...

Looks like it might just be standing up and reading aloud. I guess that's not so bad.

EDIT: Yep my JTE already decided without telling me that we're just going to have them present in groups. At least this way I get to pretend it's her fault that the lesson will be kind of boring, rather than my own lack of creativity.

abbajen
January 19th, 2013, 03:25
When I did this at an academic high school, we had 40 students in each class. We divided them into 10 teams of 4. Each set had a different debate topic. The way we kept everyone engaged was that we had note outlines for the listeners. They had to take notes on the topic, each team's stance, and each team's supporting evidence. They then had to write a paragraph about which team they agreed with and why.

Kellebelle
January 26th, 2013, 22:13
When I was learning French we would do debates (smaller classes though). We would write introductory paragraphs and two or three would present them. Then we would take notes on what the other group said, and think of questions to ask them for 5 - 10 minutes (and try to pre-empt what they would ask us!). Then there would be a more dynamic session with each side taking it in turns to ask the others questions.