Teacher Selected Topic
Design Your Own Lesson Around Any Topic
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If you don’t yet see the topic you’re planning to discuss on the AllSides for Schools lesson plans list, you can still use All Sides for Schools resources to structure a lesson with your students on any topic of your choice. This page will guide you through the process of designing your own lesson plan.
1. Select a Topic
- Choose from a list of nearly 100 Living Room Conversation guides and dozens of AllSides topics.
- Explore AllSides News to find information on topics that are currently being discussed in societal discourse.
- Search terms on AllSides Balanced Search to quickly and easily see multiple perspectives on topics and issues and aggregate content for students.
- Peruse the AllSides Headline Roundups for balanced coverage and to identify significant articles across the spectrum.
- Identify and examine relevant concerns of your students and seek a broad range of authoritative sources to go into depth on issues relevant and salient to your students.
2. Plan Your Lesson
Once you’ve selected your topic, here are some ways you can bring discussion on that topic into the classroom.
- STUDENT DEBATES: Have students read selected articles to prepare their position on the selected topic and then discuss and debate the issue across differences.
- MEDIA LITERACY & RESEARCH: Talk with students about how to using a variety relevant search terms and keywords to enhance the process of research, as well as how to identify which sources are credible and which should be avoided.
- STUDENT PRESENTATION: Have students explore a selected topic page on AllSides and create a presentation based on their work.
- REVEAL PERSONAL BIAS: Have students look up words in the AllSides Balanced Dictionary to reveal how different people from across the political spectrum think and feel about the same term or issue.
- EXPLORE MEDIA BIAS: As your students discover diversity in perspectives, have them look at the AllSides Media Bias section. Have students rate their own bias and rate the media bias of news sources and Think Tanks.
- DIALOGUE & DISCUSSION: Have your students to participate in a healthy, collaborative conversation with each other or with other students across the country. Students can engage in several ways:
- Online via Mismatch.org
- In person using conversation guides from Living Room Conversations
- Text Dialog via AllSides ConsiderIt
- Please feel free share your opinions on the ConsiderIt questions or request a new agree/disagree question be posted.
- Students are encouraged to backup their opinions with research.
3. Emphasize these discussion guidelines
- Be curious and open to learning
- Show respect and suspend judgment
- Look for common ground and note differences
- Be authentic and welcome that from others
- Be purposeful and to the point
- Own and guide the conversation
If you have any questions about the process of selecting your own topic or ideas for how to approach a topic, please contact us!