At a glance
- Subject: English/Language Arts
- Ages: 10 & under
- Suggested length: 2 class periods (45-55 minutes each)
- Device accessibility: 1 device per 2 students
This Kialo Edu discussion presents arguments for and against students wearing school uniforms. Students will explore the discussion and play the “devil’s advocate” with a classmate. Finally, students will write an essay defending the opposite view that they hold on the topic of school uniforms.
In this lesson, students will:
- Use argumentation skills to persuade others.
- Learn to defend both sides of an argument.
No specific prior knowledge is required for this lesson.
- Make 1 clone of the discussion for each class.
- If it is important for students to see each other’s comments in real time, give them Writer permissions when inviting them to the discussion.
- If it is only important that you see students’ comments, give students Suggester permissions when inviting them to the discussion.
- The Kialo Edu discussion, “Should we wear school uniforms?” This includes:
- A brief background on the topic of whether or not children should wear school uniforms.
- A fully developed Kialo Edu discussion for students to explore on this topic.
- Lesson plan for educators (downloadable in .docx / .pdf).
- Graphic organizer for students (downloadable .docx / .pdf).
Suggested length: 2 class periods (45-55 minutes each)
- Opener (5 minutes)
- Part A: Exploring the Kialo Edu discussion (focus of partial class period).
- Part B: Playing the “devil’s advocate” (20 minutes)
- Part C: Planning and writing the essay (focus of 1 class period)
- Optional closer (5 minutes)
- Students will write an individual essay on the prompt, “Should we wear school uniforms?”
- If students are familiar with the Kialo Edu structure, they can explore the discussion at home prior to the lesson. The writing assessment can also be assigned as homework.
Opener (5 minutes)
- Discuss with students whether they like or if they would like wearing school uniforms. Encourage students to explain why.
Part A: Exploring the Kialo Edu discussion (focus of partial class period).
- Direct students to explore the Kialo Edu discussion in pairs, taking turns to read the claims in the discussion. Tell them to note down any questions they may have in the comments section of the claim.
- Discuss any questions as a class.
Part B: Playing the “devil’s advocate” (20 minutes)
- Choose volunteers to stand in front of the class and ask them to convince the rest of the class that everyone should not wear school uniforms. Then, when you clap your hands, they should immediately start arguing the opposite view (i.e. everyone should wear school uniforms). Repeat as desired with various students.
- Divide your students into pairs. Students will now all play at the same time. Just like in the previous activity, one of the students will start arguing for one side and switch to defend the opposite view when you clap your hands. They should take turns being arguer and listener.
Part C: Planning and writing the essay (focus of 1 class period)
- Hand out a graphic organizer to each student. State that this will help them to organize their thoughts and prepare to write an essay on the question, “Should we wear school uniforms?” Direct students to use the Kialo Edu discussion for reference.
- Once students have filled out their graphic organizers, they can start writing their essays.
Optional closer (5 minutes)
- Encourage your students to ask people around them (parents, friends, etc.) what they think about students having to wear school uniforms. Dare your students to change their minds!