Grade 7 English LA: Debate on Zoos

On Tuesday, 6 March, Grade 7 English Language Acquisition students engaged in a debate before learning about persuasive writing.
First, students were randomly assigned a stance, either in favor of or against zoos. In groups, students developed arguments, which they presented individually. When presenting their ideas, they also had to effectively incorporate specific vocabulary that they recently learned. Vocabulary was specific to debating and to the topic of the treatment of animals.
In favor of zoos, arguments were made about how zoos allow people to learn about animals and that animals are safe and protected in zoos as opposed to the wild.
Those against zoos said that they should be abolished as animals are isolated from their families and would feel bored in cages all day.
After their arguments, students had the opportunity to question their peers and offer rebuttals.
Students enjoyed this activity as they found the topic engaging, and they produced many interesting ideas. Reticent students were also encouraged to speak in front of the group.
Next, students will use the ideas from their debate in a formative persuasive writing task before tackling a similar task on a different topic.

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