The Dress Code Debate

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SWBAT use a close read and research to debate about whether or not students should have a dress code.

Big Idea

Students use a close read and research to debate about whether or not students should have a dress code.


1 minutes


4 minutes

I begin the lesson by explaining to students that this is Day 2 of The Dress Code Debate.  During the previous day's lesson and for homework, they have been given ample opportunity to research and prepare for the actual debate. I remind them of which students are arguing "for" and "against" dress codes and which students will serve as evaluators.  I play a GoAnimate video about debates.  (Click here to play GoAnimate video about debates.)

Close Read

15 minutes

I explain to my scholars that they have had an opportunity to read the Scholastic News magazine article, "Fashion Police" on their own and write their own questions.  In order to continue to build background, we read the article together, review some Tier 2 vocabulary, and answer a few text-based questions (see attached Powerpoint).  Close reads are definitely a Common Core aligned activity.  They provide students an opportunity to "dig deeper" into a complex text to unearth not only explicit information, but hidden information that they may have to use their inference skills to gain a better understanding.

Dress Code Debate

25 minutes

Now, we get into the actual Dress Code Debate.  I divide students into "For," "Against," and "Evaluator" teams.  I explain to students that they will use accountable talk and their research notes to frame arguments for and against students having a dress code.  They will listen to arguments for and against dress codes and take notes during the debate. I explain that the evaluators will use Common Core State Standards on the attached Evaluator Rubric to determine which team - "For" or "Against" wins the debate.  I review the learning objectives for the lesson - using specific details, examples, and evidence in presenting pros and cons of an argument, analyzing and evaluating the debate, and determining a winner of the debate.  We start the debate using the essential questions on the attached Powerpoint presentation.  We close the debate by reviewing the essential understandings of the lesson - Why research preparation is important in a debate, Why listening and note-taking are important in a debate, and Why debates are important.

Evaluation and Closure

15 minutes

I close the lesson by allowing the evaluators to express their opinions using a Common Core State Standards-aligned rubric.  The evaluators explain which team they feel won the debate and why.  I, then, allow students to pose their own student-generated questions to continue the discussion. Finally, I review with them essential understandings I wanted them to gain from their participation in the lesson.