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.


Estimated timeframe:

Activity steps

  1. 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:
  2. Begin with a quick write asking for learners’ personal opinions on teen driving.
  3. 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).
  4. Introduce the jury-style philosophical chair format to students and have them form small groups. Emphasis the “rules of engagement” for the discussion.
  5. 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.
  6. Have groups report out. Members of other juries should have the opportunity to question the groups as they report.
  7. 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:
    • Money
    • Maturity/Behavior
    • Education
    • Experience

Workforce readiness skills

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