This critical literacy lesson will be the first one that on-grade level science students will participate in. To that end, this concept is in it’s infancy. There are many obstacles that we must overcome:

  • Many students do not have regular access to the internet or computers.
  • Many students do not regularly practice high level critical thinking skills.
  • Many students have never participated in a semi-formal or formal debate before.
  • We must be able to secure computer and internet usage in the classroom for these lessons–computers are in very high demand currently.
  • Some students may not be able to take one side that they disagree with during the debate.
  • Some students may come into this lesson with preconceived notions and existing viewpoints. Overcoming these will be key in the evaulation process.

In the future, the science teachers may pair with the GT Resource teacher for added help and guidance with this lesson. Mr. Bill McCauley runs a Debate Club during the day as a pullout at our school. He could offer his expertise in this area. Students who are currently participating in the Debate Club could be split up accordingly and could act as a leader for each side of the debate.

Additionally, students who are enrolled in the Advanced Reader program have a leg up on this critical literacy lesson. These students have previously worked on identifying the voice, theme, purpose, and viewpoint of various websites. These students could be peer-models for other students in the class.