Reflection: Debate Cornerstone Defending Literary Arguments - Section 3: Debating the Evidence


When you say 'debate' or 'argument, certain things spring to mind.  Things like podiums in a high school debate class.  Heated, arguing, shouting, personal attacks.  Arguing things you don't believe in to get a grade, using persuasive angles, including fear.

But what is debate in a common core world?  It's certainly not using relying on persuasive propaganda.  It's certainly not shouting or personal attacks. 

In the common core world, debate and argument means using logic to defend your claim.  Sure, you might catch the reader's attention with an emotional persuasive technique, but that's not what you're relying on.  If you've spent any amount of time on an Internet forum, you know this is a difficult skill for anyone, even adults, to master. People become invested in their claim. They want to be right, and even more so when it's an issue that's close to their heart. 

That's why I'm using literature to introduce debate and argument. Students aren't as emotionally invested in the topic compared to heavy issues like immigration, fracking, etc.  That distance allows us to focus on the logic because students don't feel as though their beliefs or their family's beliefs are being attacked.  Once students develop the skill of formulating a claim, choosing evidence to support it, and defending that evidence, they can transfer those skills to the heavier issues, confident in their ability to defend claims with logic, not emotion.

  Using Literature to Spur Debate
  Debate: Using Literature to Spur Debate
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Cornerstone Defending Literary Arguments

Unit 12: Novel Study: The Hunger Games
Lesson 11 of 21

Objective: Students will be able to form literary arguments by citing evidence supporting claims with commentary in discussion and written arguments.

Big Idea: Students defend literary arguments with The Hunger Games.

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5 teachers like this lesson
may 20141
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