Group Debate: Acknowledging and Responding to Counter-Arguments

This Group Debate: Acknowledging and Responding to Counter-Arguments lesson plan also includes:

A strong argument can anticipate the objections others may raise, and address the counterarguments in its claim. High schoolers work together to formulate counterarguments based on their positions. Given an issue of interest, groups decide which five objections they would have to the opposing position, as well as the five objections the other side would have to their own position. 

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Have individuals contribute to a class list of modern issues, including political positions and current events, from which at least two positions could arise
  • Encourage group members to role play their arguments to discover possible oppositions from the other side
Classroom Considerations

  • Part of a 12-lesson unit based on Kate L. Turabian's Student's Guide to Writing College Papers, which is recommended reading but not required for the activity
  • Be sure that your class is emotionally mature enough to discuss loaded topics without reverting to name-calling or harassment
Pros

  • Provides an alternative way to implement and assess the activity
  • Aligned to Common Core standards for both writing and reading
  • Focuses on the importance of addressing counterarguments when posing a claim
Cons

  • None