Newsela 101: Vote With Your Feet!

Objective:

Students will identify and discuss their beliefs based on statements from the reading.

OVERVIEW:

Vote with Your Feet is an informal discussion based activity that provides quick formative information to the teacher on where students stand on certain topics and statements. After reading an assigned article, the teacher will put a statement on the board either from the article or based on the article. For example, if the article was about gun violence, the teacher could put a statement on the board like “People should be allowed to conceal and carry”. The teacher will designate one side of the room as Agree and one side as Disagree. Based on if the students agree or disagree with the statement they will move to the side that reflects their opinion of the statement. From there, students will engage in a controlled and orderly back and forth discussion about their beliefs. One student will talk on one side followed by one student on the other side. Having a talking piece to designate the speaker helps with this process. After students have discussed the statement for a sufficient amount of time the teacher can move on to another prepared statement based on the text.

Tips and Suggestions:

  • Five to seven statements usually work best.
  • This activity works great as an introduction to a unit because it provides quick formative information to the teacher on where students stand.
  • While some students may not talk during the quick discussion process, they are choosing a side and participating which still provides information on their beliefs.

Newsela Article Pair:

Issue Overview: Immigration reform

Newsela 101: Vote With Your Feet!
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