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ERA- Oral Histories Curriculum: Mock ERA Debate

The ERA Debate: Mock ERA Debate

Mock ERA Debate:


As a class, you will participate in a debate with half the class arguing for the passage of the ERA and half the class arguing against it. 

In order to take part in the debate you must have some prior knowledge, such as:

-          History of the Equal Rights Amendment

-          Who supported it and who didn’t

-          Why was there opposition?

-          Why was there support?

This debate will help you understand the nuances and intricacies of each side of the debate. Often, history is told from the side of the winner. This debate will let us know the views of the "winner" and of the "loser."


Day One:

Students will be separated into two groups, about 9 students each: those who support the ERA and those who oppose the ERA.  Within these groups, students will decide the roles each member will take:

1.       The speakers (3) will take three parts.

a.       Speaker 1 (5 min): Lays out team’s position. May want to work with writer to develop a written speech since this will be the foundation of your team’s argument.

b.      Speaker 2 (3 min): Supposes problems with the opposition’s arguments. Speaker 2 and his or her writer and researchers will need to be familiar with the arguments the opposing team will put forth.

c.       Speaker 3 (3 min): Responds to Speaker 2 of the opposing team. Since you will not know what the opposition will say until Speaker 2 round, Speaker 3 should be able to improvise. Speaker 3 will need a plethora of talking points and evidence to prepare for anything Speaker 2 may say.

 

2.       The researchers (3) will use primary and secondary source documents to find evidence which supports their teams’ viewpoint. Examples of this evidence could be quotes from prominent politicians or leaders of movements, statistics about women’s roles in the United States, (i.e. women make this much less than men an hour, or this many women stay at home with their children), or newspaper and research articles. Your research should come from credible sources! You don’t want the opposing team calling you out for faulty evidence. Since there is a section of the debate where the speakers will have to engage with the opposing side, your research should include evidence the opposing side might use. Researchers will use the internet, oral histories, and other documents provided to conduct their search.

 

3.       The writers (3) will compile the evidence into meaningful talking points and arguments supporting your team’s views. The writers will work with the speakers to determine how best to convey these arguments. Does the speaker want simple notes on the evidence so that he or she can improvise as they hear the opposing team’s arguments, or does he or she want a fully written speech with arguments already flushed out? You may want to assign one writer to each speaking part as the different parts may require different methods of conveying their viewpoints.

 

Day two: Research and Writing

Students will work within their groups to prepare for the debate. While the researchers are finding evidence, the writers and speakers should be planning their arguments and how they want to present their arguments. As they plan, they should inform the researcher of the type of evidence which would support their argument.

 For example:

Speaker 1 and Writer 1 decide a major reason the ERA should pass is that women are paid less than men and the ERA could change that. They tell a researcher they need evidence which shows women are paid less than men. The researcher finds a quote from the whitehouse.gov stating women make on average 77 cents to every one dollar a man makes. Writer 1 and Speaker 1 have decided the best way to present their argument is through a pre-written speech. They work this evidence into their speech.

 

Day three: THE DEBATE

The affirmative side (i.e. the side that supports the passage of the ERA) will go first.

Affirmative speaker 1 has five minutes to present the team’s argument.

Negative speaker 1 has five minutes to present the team’s argument.

Affirmative speaker 2 has three minutes to refute the other team’s arguments.

Negative speaker 2 has three minutes to refute the other team’s arguments.

Affirmative speaker 3 has three minutes to respond to Negative speaker 2.

Negative speaker 3 has three minutes to respond to Affirmative speaker 2.

 

After the debate, students will discuss:

-What arguments worked and what didn’t

-If you could’ve chosen before the debate, which side would you have been on?

-Would you choose a different side after hearing the debate?

-What was your team’s best argument?

-What was the opposing team’s best argument?

 

 


The ERA Debate: Rubric for Mock Debate

Category

5

4

3

2

1

Totals:

Respect for other team

All statements, body language, and responses were respectful and used appropriate language.

Statements, and responses were respectful and used appropriate language, but once or twice body language was not.

Most statements and responses were respectful and used appropriate language, but there was one sarcastic remark.

Statements, body language, and responses were borderline appropriate; some sarcastic remarks were made.

Statements, body language, and responses were consistently disrespectful.

 

Information

All information presented in this debate was clear, accurate, and thorough.

Most information presented in this debate was clear, accurate, and thorough.

Most information presented in this debate was clear, accurate, but was not usually thorough.

Some information was accurate, but there were some minor inaccuracies.

Information had some major inaccuracies OR was usually not clear.

 

Rebuttal

All counter-arguments were accurate, relevant, and strong.

Most counter-arguments were accurate, relevant, and strong.

All counter-arguments were accurate, relevant, but several were weak.

Some counter-arguments were weak and irrelevant.

Counter-arguments were not accurate and/or relevant.

 

Use of facts/statistics

Every major point was well supported with several relevant facts, statistics, and/or examples.

Every major point was adequately supported with relevant facts, statistics, and/or examples.

Every major point was supported with facts, statistics, and/or examples, but the relevance of some was questionable.

Some points were well supported, others were not.

No point was supported.

 

Organization

All arguments were clearly tied to an idea (premise) and organized in a tight logical fashion.

Most arguments were clearly tied to an idea (premise) and organized in a tight logical fashion.

All arguments were clearly tied to an idea (premise), but the organization was sometimes not clear or logical.

Arguments were not tied well to an idea.

Arguments were not tied to an idea at all.

 

Understanding of Topic

The team clearly understood the topic in-depth and presented their information forcefully and convincingly.

The team clearly understood the topic in-depth and presented their information with ease.

The team seemed to understand the main points of the topic and presented those with ease.

The team seemed to understand the main points of the topic, but didn’t present with ease.

The team did not show an adequate understanding of the topic.

 

Presentation Style

Team consistently used gestures, eye contact, tone of voice, and a level of enthusiasm in a way that kept the attention of the audience.

Team usually used gestures, eye contact, tone of voice, and a level of enthusiasm in a way that kept the attention of the audience.

Team sometimes used gestures, eye contact, tone of voice, and a level of enthusiasm in a way that kept the attention of the audience.

One or more members of the team had a presentation style that did not keep attention.

The team’s presentation style did not keep the attention of the audience.

 

Source: http://course1.winona.edu/shatfield/air/classdebate.pdf

The ERA Debate: Mock ERA Debate

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