Mini Debate Should the U.S. have stricter rules on gun ownership?
Working in pairs, students will prepare a one - two minute speech for a mini debate on the topic of gun control. One person will speak for the affirmative (supporting the idea that the United States should have stricter rules on gun ownership) and the other will speak for the negative (speaking against the idea of greater gun control).
Before students begin to construct their argument, ask them to record what they already know about the topic and what they would like to find out. Students then research the topic to gain a greater understanding of the issue. Ask students to list their arguments in point form on paper (without their partner seeing them). When they have done this, ask them to choose the five best points that will form the basis for their debate.
Students will write in point form, their debate on cards that fit into the palm of their hand. Their debate needs to have an introduction (introducing the topic), middle (three main points) and a conclusion (restating their position)
Students practise their speech and then present the mini debate to other students.
Ask students to think about how difficult it was to think of arguments to support their case. Do they think they could have created a stronger argument if they were speaking for the opposing view?
CBBC Newsround – Gun debate
http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews/hi/newsid_2350000/newsid_2358200/2358225.stm BBC Scotland – Gun control debate
http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/education/ms/usa/casestudies/guncontrol/index.shtml BBC – Newsbeat’s guide to US gun laws
http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/18950937 Behind the News - Upsetting news document