When the goal of argumentation is to learn from each other, the task becomes less competitive and more enriching. SS/ELA teacher Megan Kelly uses games to help students build socratic skills as they consider perspectives, identify their audiences, and argue with insight.
Creating opportunities for frank and healthy student conversations about social issues is especially significant as we face a global pandemic that affirms our humanity. Middle grades teacher Nancy Costanzo’s read alouds and writing ideas can help online and in class.
Kids love visual texts such as art and photographs, but as with written texts, they often don’t know where to begin when asked to look at the works critically. Author and NBCT Marilyn Pryle finds that if given specific doorways, her students have much richer discussions.
Arguing that empathy is composed of teachable habits that can be practiced and developed, Michele Borba offers parents and teachers many tools to help children grow in their awareness of the needs of others. Mary Thompson finds the age-aligned ideas helpful.
With post-election “vitriol” just below the surface in her classes, Sarah Cooper employs of a familiar history teaching tool: shifting perspective. First students discuss the Hamilton cast’s statement to VP-elect Mike Pence – then Jefferson’s slave ownership.