Definition of Censorship: Have a selected student read from the dictionary, the definition of Censorship, with the rest of the students copying down this definition. (Have the definition written on an overhead transparency for ease in copying.) (This could be incorporated into the daily drill)
Groups: Divide the class into small to medium size groups, approximately 6 or 8 groups.
Instruction: Inform the class that they will be debating the merits of censorship in todays society
Handout: Provide each group with your rules for debate. You can use Rules of Formal Debate, if you wish, or personalize rules to fit your kids.
The Rules listed below are the rules I gave my kids. You will probably
receive quite a few questions on this handout. Students need to understand
that whether or not they are in agreement with the side on which they placed,
they must debate for their side, and not be sidetracked by their personal
opinion, pro or con.
Student Prep Time: Allow the rest of the class period for research. If you do not have available material, you may want to prearrange use of the media center or your computer lab. Guide and assist as necessary. For example, you could point out appropriate amendments to the Constitution of the United States, or the need to protect children from violence.
Day Two (Censorship
Before Students Arrive: Arrange your classroom ahead of time for the debates. I used the following groupings
Pre-Debate Student Management:
After each pair of teams debates, announce the scores and relevant points that you scored. This will help other teams understand how they will be scored. Hopefully, each team debate will improve as the day progresses, as the kids gain a better understanding of how a debate works.
At the end of the day, take a quick poll to find out which students support censorship, and which do not, and briefly discuss why. This gives kids, who argued pro or con in the debate, a chance to verbalize their disagreement with a pro (or con) position. You'll get comments like: "It's really hard to argue something you don't believe in." This provides your opportunity to emphasize keeping an open mind, and/or a quick positioning statement, such as: "You're right! Personal attacks rarely solve anything. But, when you debate someone's reasons for believing as they do.....yes, that's right! You might change their mind. At the very least, you'll discover why they feel the way they do. You can better block them, if you're against it; or support them, if you're for it, if you know what they want to accomplish. Knowledge is power!
Close this day by bringing your class back to the study of Ancient China and the Chin dynasty by asking them what they think Chin may have wanted to accomplish with book burnings.
For complete units, lesson plans & activities
on Ancient China, plus links to detailed information on Daily Life in Ancient
China, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Legalism, and more, see Ancient
For complete units, lesson plans & activities on Ancient China, plus links to detailed information on Daily Life in Ancient China, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Legalism, and more, see Ancient China.