Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Richardson 8th Grd ELA/Soc. Studies

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Richardson 8th Grade ELA/Soc. Studies

Student Debate - Denmark Vesey

What are the students doing?
Students participated in a debate regarding the controversy of Denmark Vesey, an African-American community leader and freed slave from Charleston, South Carolina.  Students created an argument, researched, and supported two opposing views.  They had to prove whether he was a martyr who deserved a monument or a terrorist who did not.

What do you hope students accomplish by completing this activity?  
With this debate, the hope was to have students improve their skills in effective public speaking, communication, research, reasoning, and collaboration of ideas.

How did this activity tie to your standards?  
The debate structure allowed for students to deepen their understanding how sectionalism within the United States arose from racial tension during the Antebellum Period.  Debates also tie in with our inquiry and communication standards.

How did this activity promote student learning?
In this debate, students were asked to research a randomly assigned viewpoint on Denmark Vesey.  Many of them were stretched beyond their preconceived idea of what is wrong and right; researching opposing viewpoints encourages critical thinking, and students are able to see evidence and reasoning to justify both sides.  Throughout the research process, students also made connections to present day events which notes their recognition of trends       throughout history and society.  

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