Zoo Debate

On Wednesday, 14 December, Grade 7 Academic English Programme students engaged in a short debate on zoos before beginning a writing unit about expressing opinions.

Students were randomly assigned a side to argue, either in support of or against zoos.  In groups, they developed arguments for their stance, which were then presented individually.  After this, there was a chance for rebuttals and questions.

Some persuasive arguments in support of zoos were that they are safer for animals, as natural habitats are disappearing, and that zoos are fun places for families to spend time together.

Two opposing arguments were that captivity could make animals feel stressed and that animals would usually be separated from their families.

This activity was successful in that it helped to introduce the genre of writing the group would study.  Individual roles in the debate encouraged reluctant students to speak to the class.  Finally, general interest in the topic led to high student engagement as well as creative and interesting ideas.

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