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Lesson Plan

The Great Service-Learning Debate & Research Project

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The Great Service-Learning Debate & Research Project

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Jaime R. Wood

Jaime R. Wood

Portland, Oregon


National Council of Teachers of English


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






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Persuasion Map

Grades   3 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Persuasion Map

The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate.


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  • National Service-Learning Clearinghouse

    This is the official website for the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse. It offers a comprehensive definition of “service-learning” and includes a fact sheet, history page, and frequently asked questions about service-learning. It also provides examples of service learning projects and lessons. Students will use this site to conduct their research in preparation for their final debate.

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  1. Review the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse website and make sure you have a clear understanding of what service-learning is and how it is different from community service or volunteerism.
  2. Read and make copies of pages 5-10 of the “Middle School Students' Attitudes toward Required Chesapeake Bay Service-Learning” research article for each student in the class.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the Persuasion Map Student Interactive.  If computer access is a problem, copy a print version of the interactive for each student.
  4. Make an overhead transparency of the Hypothetical Debate Scenario.
  5. Make copies of the Reflection: Informed vs. Uninformed Argument handout for every student in the class.
  6. Acquire a computer with a projector and internet access for the first class session, and sign up for students to go to the computer lab for Sessions Two and Three so each student has access to a computer with Internet access. They will also need access to a printer during the second or third session in order to print out their Persuasion Maps.
  7. Before students arrive on the first day of this lesson, designate areas in the classroom where students will move to indicate that they are “For,” “Against,” or “Undecided” about the new service-learning requirement that the administration is hypothetically considering. You might just write these words on the board or make signs and tape them to the walls. It is important for students to physically move to the position they want to be part of so that their positions are clear.

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