Last week the 6th grade scientists at MS8 debated wind farms. The students were assigned to groups either for or against building more wind farms in the United States. They spent a few days researching the pros and cons to make sure they were fully prepared for cross-examination questions. By the end of the debate, many students found that their original viewpoints had changed once they heard the other side’s arguments. We had a lot of fun and we cannot wait for our next classroom debate!
In science, last week, we had a debate on the effects of wind farms. Both positive and negative. The main idea was, if we should build more wind farms, or if we should build less, and tear down the ones we have now. For homework the first night we had to find articles on our topic (if wind farms were a positive idea or a negative idea). Then the next day during class we researched our topic. We had to find research on our topic and the other side’s topic, so we would know what were up against. Then the next night’s homework was to finally prepare for the next day. By writing down key things you wanted to talk about, scripting it, putting it in ‘boxes and bullets’ form, anything — it just had to be around 3 minutes long. The different roles of the debaters were the opening statement, the person responding to the cross examination questions, the person asking the cross examination questions, the rebutter, and the closing statement. Each person choose a role, then they had to prepare for that role, each role was important, especially the opening statement, and the rebuttal, because these were the people who explained your opinion. When we got into the classroom the tables were arranged so that 8 people could sit at them. Then the people on the positive side shared their opening statement, then the people on the negative side posed examination questions, then the people on the positive side answered the questions, then that happened for the negative side, then the rebutters started talking on the positive side, then they talked on the negative side, then the closing statements came. Each person had a certain amount of time to talk. I like this type of learning because you start learning about finding two opinions to a story, which is important because most issues in life are not one-sided. And if you were on the side that you don’t believe in, it helps you to be able to defend both sides, which is important in life because sometimes you have to defend both sides. And that’s what happened during our science debate.
By Amelia J., Class 601