1) Students will be given either the pro or the con
side for the following statement:
The use of tanning beds by teens should be regulated”
2) Provide students with computer lab time to research
their position. They will be given some guiding topics
to consider, but have them feel free to add to them.
In the final 10-15 minutes of the first day of research,
have those students considering the same side of the
question come together to discuss their findings and
plan an attack for research the next day.
3) At the end of the first day, students will be given
the homework of creating a personal position statement
for the next day. This should be a short, 2-3 paragraph
statement that includes facts and logical information
backing up their position.
4) At the start of the second day, collect and quickly
check position statements and clarify for the students
that their side should work as a team, but have
an individual responsibility to contribute to
5) During the second day, have both the computer
room and a classroom available for students to
may need a second individual to supervise). Let
students do any meeting/research to prepare for
6) On the third day have students come in and
you will either pick students (2/side) or ask
to begin the fishbowl debate. There will be
4 chairs set
up in the middle of the room and each student
will take a seat there. These will be your
No one except for these students may talk.
7) To displace a student, another student must
tap them on the shoulder and will then take
must be from the same side of the argument.
Each student is expected to contribute at
facts to the
argument (take the hot seat twice or have
a longer time in the
hot seat while contributing)
8) When you feel the debate has run its course,
have students take a poll on which side
they thought won,
whether they were convinced by the other
arguments and why, what they might have learned, whether
they had to argue a side they didn’t believe, whether
their ideas changed over the course of the research and
debate, and any other contributions. Make sure they give
examples and reasons.
9) If time remains or the teacher would
like to, have the class as a whole come
to be informed about the risks of tanning
beds, what they should be told, how they
and what problems they might expect to
10) For homework, students are asked
to write a one page response to the
assigned position or that of their
1 students must write a short position paper which will be
graded on a -, check, + scale depending on completeness.
After the final day students will be asked to write a one-page
response to the debate with reference to either their assigned
position or their personal opinion.
can be assessed on their thoughtful and supported position
paper and response, as well as their full participation
in the debate.
Group participation is very important here, as is thoughtful
consideration of others’ opinions. As this is a
three-day activity, there is ample time to assess all
levels of student interaction- from individual research
and debate contribution, to their spot in the milieu
of their side.