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Teen Driving Pro/Con Discussion
Following opens in a new window a lesson plan from the Teaching Channel, students read two articles on teen driving and the minimum driving age. After marking the readings and working collaboratively to make notes, learners use a jury-style philosophical chairs format to engage in productive student-led discussions.
S&L1: Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Level(s): C, D
Estimated timeframe: 2-4 hours
- Watch the Teaching Channel video on collaborative discussions, “Arguing the Pros and Cons of Teen Driving”: opens in a new window https://www.teachingchannel.org/video/common-core-collaborative-discussions. Click on Supporting Materials to find the lesson plan, reading passages, handouts and other materials for this activity. (You may need to create a free Teaching Channel account. Alternately, use the video and handouts as a model but choose your own topic/reading passages that are relevant to your students.) Follow the activity steps from the Teen Driving Lesson Plan Basics file:
- Begin with a quick write asking for learners’ personal opinions on teen driving.
- Have students read the two articles individually, marking the texts for fact and opinion as they read. Have them complete the note-taking worksheet, categorizing the evidence from the articles (they can work and discuss with a partner or in a small group).
- Introduce the jury-style philosophical chair format to students and have them form small groups. Emphasis the “rules of engagement” for the discussion.
- Allow small groups to discuss the readings and determine the most compelling evidence. Through discussion, groups should come to a consensus if possible (agree/disagree/hung jury) on whether the legal driving age should be changed.
- Have groups report out. Members of other juries should have the opportunity to question the groups as they report.
- To close and have students synthesize the evidence from the readings and discussion, ask each student to individually respond to the writing prompt: Citing information in the texts to support your argument, what is the appropriate age to get a driver’s license? Think about:
Workforce readiness skills
Conflict Resolution: respectfully discuss a controversial issue and defend one’s own position
Speaking and Listening: respectfully discuss a controversial issue and defend one’s own position, making connections to information gathered from reading and research
Reading and Writing: read article; write notes and responses
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