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Optional Extension: The Great Climate Change Debate

Language Arts Connection #1

Language Arts Connection #2

Language Arts Connection #3

Language Arts Connection #4

Language Arts Connection #5

Extensions:


20. Selling Solutions to NETL

Optional Extension:

The Great Climate Change Debate

Advocate Debate
| Skeptic Debate

Introduction to scientific models | Optional Extensions & Language Arts

Links on this page: Teacher Sheet | Student Sheet | Debaters Grid- Advocate | Debaters Grid - Skeptic

National Education Standards Met:

language discipline

Goal: Students will use a debate format to understand the reasons for the controversy over climate change and reach their own conclusions about whether it is caused by human action or natural causes.

Objectives: Students will…

  • Develop persuasive arguments
  • Practice public speaking skills
  • Read and analyze technical information
  • Develop a rationale for their beliefs about the cause of climate change

The Great Climate Change Debate: Natural or Human?

Materials (For a class of 30):

  • 30 copies of climate change articles
  • 30 copies of Debate Terms – Student Sheet
  • 1 Debate Terms – Teacher Sheet
  • 30 copies of Debate Sequence Student Sheet
  • 15 copies of the Debater’s Grid – Affirmative
  • 15 copies of the Debater’s Grid - Negative

Time: Two 45 minute periods

Standards Met: C3, C5, G5, LA3, LA4, LA5, LA6, LA7, LA11, LA12


Procedure:

  • Explain to students that there are two schools of thought regarding climate change: one is that the Earth’s climate is being influenced by human actions; the second is that there are still uncertainties about the Earth's natural carbon cycle and the extent to which human contributions are affecting it.
     
  • The topic of the class debate will be whether humans need to change their habits because we are influencing the Earth’s climate.
     
  • Pass out Debate Terms.
     
  • Review each term and apply the terms to this topic.  Have students fill in blanks under applicable terms.  Use the Debate Terms – Teacher Sheet.
     
  • Pass out climate change articles and assign students topics, human or natural.
     
  • Allow students time to read each article; they should read both the pro and con to help them better construct their arguments.
     
  • For the affirmative, students can also visit the website of the Union of Concerned Scientists:  http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science/global-warming-faq.html
     
  • For the negative, students can also visit the website of the George C. Marshall Institute, at http://www.marshall.org/pdf/materials/391.pdf
     
  • Pass out the Debate Sequence Sheets & Debater’s Grids.
     
  • Review the sequence and how it relates to the Debater’s Grid.

Debate Terms – Teacher Sheet

Debate:
Process whereby two or more individuals take opposing viewpoints on a proposition in an attempt to persuade others to accept or reject a solution to a problem.

  • Topic: Climate Change

Resolution: A statement that presents the idea or issue that is under examination. It should be clearly worded, deal with one subject, be timely, be free of emotional or prejudicial phrases, and be phrased from an affirmative position.

  • Resolution Statement: Humans need to change their habits because we are influencing the Earth’s climate.

Affirmative: This side tells the importance of adopting the proposition and why the change is needed.

Negative: The negative side presents arguments as to why no changes should take place. They also argue against the affirmative points and present the disadvantages of the affirmative’s plan.

Argument: Argument is the systematic process of relating evidence for the purpose of establishing the case. Argument is your way of presenting evidence that helps to support your side.

Main Points: Statements or points that are offered as being the basic truths upon which a case is built.

Refute: Attack the case of the opposition. The debaters seek out the weaknesses of the opponents' arguments and present a counter argument.

Rebuttal: This is the last opportunity to argue against the opposition and to highlight your main points.


Debate Terms – Student Sheet

Debate:
Process whereby two or more individuals take opposing viewpoints on a proposition in an attempt to persuade others to accept or reject a solution to a problem.

  • Topic:

Resolution: A statement that presents the idea or issue that is under examination. It should be clearly worded, deal with one subject, be timely, be free of emotional or prejudicial phrases, and be phrased from an affirmative position.

  • Resolution Statement:

Affirmative: This side tells the importance of adopting the proposition and why the change is needed.

Negative: The negative side presents arguments as to why no changes should take place. They also argue against the affirmative points and present the disadvantages of the affirmative’s plan.

Argument: Argument is the systematic process of relating evidence for the purpose of establishing the case. Argument is your way of presenting evidence that helps to support your side.

Main Points: Statements or points that are offered as being the basic truths upon which a case is built.

Refute: Attack the case of the opposition. The debaters seek out the weaknesses of the opponents' arguments and present a counter argument.

Rebuttal: This is the last opportunity to argue against the opposition and to highlight your main points.


Debaters Grid - Affirmative

 

Outline of Negative Case

Argument You Plan to Use to Refute the Negative

What You Plan to Say Against Refutations

Negative Refutations to What You Said in Column 3

Final Affirmative Rebuttal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debaters Grid - Negative

Outline of Affirmative Case

Argument You Plan to Use to Refute the Affirmative

Affirmative Refutation of Your Attack

Argument You Plan to Use in Answer to the Affirmative Counter Attacks

Summary Notes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Debate Sequence:

  1. First Affirmative Speaker (2-3 minutes)
  2. First Negative Speaker (2-3 minutes)
  3. Second Affirmative Speaker (2-3 minutes)
  4. Second Negative Speaker (2-3 minutes)
  5. Affirmative Rebuttal (1 minute)
  6. Negative Rebuttal and/or Summary (1-2 minute)
  7. Affirmative Summary (1 minute)


Detailed Description of Debate Sequence

First Affirmative Speaker

  • Begins with an interesting, attention-getting introduction.
  • Gives a brief explanation/history of the problem.
  • States the resolution.
  • Presents the definition of terms in a clear and meaningful manner. (Make sure that everyone understands the vocabulary being used. Example: Global warming, chlorofluorocarbons, etc.)
  • Announce the major affirmative contentions, specifically stating what the affirmative team intends to accomplish. The first affirmative speaker should tell the listeners which contention will be presented by the First Affirmative and the Second Affirmative Speakers.
  • Present the first major contention. Contentions need to address the need, practicality, and advantages. It must be supported by evidence and reasoning.
  • Presents a plan that would bring the change into effect.
  • Summarize. Review the major points.

First Negative Speaker

  • Analyze what the affirmative speaker has said. Point out where the Affirmative and Negative agree and where they disagree.
  • Refute the Affirmative points. Present evidence, opinion, and reasoning to destroy the opponent's argument.
  • Present arguments as to why no changes should take place.
  • Summarize. Review the major points.

Second Affirmative Speaker

  • Analyze the debate. Show clearly the relationship between the Affirmative proposal and the Negative stand, magnifying the importance of the Affirmative points.
  • Rebuild your case. Restate points and offer further evidence and reasoning.
  • Attack the Negative points.
  • Summarize. Review the major points.

Second Negative Speaker

  • Analyze the debate by comparing the two cases again.
  • Rebuild your case. Restate your points and offer further evidence and reasoning.
  • Attack the Affirmative points.
  • Present the remaining Negative points.
  • Summarize. Review the major points.

Affirmative Side Questions the Negative
Negative Side Gives a Summary

  • This is the last time the negative side may address the audience.

Affirmative Side Concludes with its Summary


Human Influence on Climate - Affirmative


Human Influence on Climate - Negative

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