Wednesday, October 22, 2014

To Strike or Not to Strike Debate

As we are wrapping up our unit on Esperanza Rising, we are delving into some of the themes of the novel.  Over the past week, we've been studying about workers rights by reading Harvesting Hope and watching a documentary called Viva La Causa, both of which discuss the life and work of Cesar Chavez, and also by reading narratives written by children who are migrant workers.  We've been connecting all of these texts with the events in Esperanza Rising.

Today, we brought these themes together in a class debate:  Should the workers in Esperanza Rising strike or continue working?

Students chose a side, and then individually brainstormed benefits and drawbacks for their choice.  Then, students gathered as a group to prepare for the debate.  Each group selected four members to represent their point of view in front of the class.  The debate went in the following format:

Opening Statement- 1minute
Present Argument- 2 minutes
Cross Examination- 3 minutes
Closing Statement- 1 minute

Students were quite passionate about their points of view!  A large topic of discussion was the balance of working for a social cause while also working to support and take care of one's family.

Here's some of the students speaking to the class:

The Groups Brainstorm their points of view

Mackenzie makes and opening statement.

Emma makes and opening statement.

Rache, expressing the team's main argument.

Evan and Caleb ask and answer questions.

The group prepares their argument.
The group prepares their argument.

Aliana gives her teams opening statement.

Callie gives her team's opening statement.

Morgan explains her groups main argument.

Morgan and Anya face-off in the cross-examination.

Ruby and Richard give their closing statements.

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