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Chapter 4: Argument Relay

Katie Rogers Marzano Research ePub

4

Argument Relay

For upper elementary, middle school, and high school students

This game takes the form of a traditional relay race, in which each teammate completes one part of the race before being relieved by a different teammate. In this version, teams of students race to form a complete argument, with each teammate adding a different element to a teacher-provided claim. Playing Argument Relay gives students opportunities to generate grounds for claims with which they may or may not themselves agree. This prompts students to consider various perspectives on an issue. To enhance the rigor of the game, teachers can also ask students to identify errors in reasoning.

Setup

First, divide the class into teams. We recommend including four students on each team, although teams can be as large or as small as you want, so long as you adjust the number of grounds needed to win the relay (for example, if there are five students instead of four, teams will need to generate five grounds instead of four). Each team sits in a row, either at desks or on the floor (if students are sitting on the floor, each will need a hard surface, like a clipboard, to write on). Give a recording sheet to the first student in each row. Stand at the front of the room with your list of selected claims (see appendix B on page 215).

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Chapter 10: Convince the Crowd

Katie Rogers Marzano Research ePub

10

Convince the Crowd

For high school students

Convince the Crowd is a competitive debate game in which the teacher proposes a motion and two panels of students discuss it. Before a single speech is made, an audience of classmates votes either in favor of the motion or against it. The audience casts their votes on the same motion a second time after the debate takes place, allowing everyone to see which side has persuaded the most audience members to change their vote. The side that has the highest percentage difference between before votes and after votes is declared the winner.

This game is recommended for high school students who have had lots of practice with research and argumentation. It works especially well in language arts, science, and social studies classes. The game is modeled after Intelligence Squared (stylized as intelligence2 or IQ2) debates (www.intelligencesquared.com). Motions in past Intelligence Squared debates cover a broad spectrum of topics, from politics (“The rich are taxed enough”) to environmental issues (“The natural gas boom is doing more harm than good”) to entertainment (“Ban college football”). We highly recommend showing one of these debates to students so they can get an overall picture of what a debate looks like and an idea of what form their classroom debates should take.

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Chapter 2: Opinion Scoot

Katie Rogers Marzano Research ePub

2

Opinion Scoot

For middle elementary students

Opinion Scoot is based on a popular stations activity called “Scoot” (sometimes called “Scooch” or “Skedaddle”) in which students rotate from desk to desk and respond to a different question at each one. In this adaptation, we have added an element in which students vote on specific questions by dropping tokens in cups at each station. This game is designed to give elementary students practice with stating opinions and explaining their reasoning. To play, students need basic reading, writing, and counting skills. They do not need to know terms like claim, grounds, backing, or qualifier, nor do they need to be perfect spellers, fluent readers, or master grammarians.

Setup

We recommend setting up students’ desks for this game before they arrive in the room. First, lay a question card face up on each desk. Teachers can use the premade question cards at the end of this chapter (see pages 63–68), or they can make their own.

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Chapter 1: I Think, I Like, I Believe

Katie Rogers Marzano Research ePub

1

I Think, I Like, I Believe

For lower elementary students

This circle-based game is designed to introduce young students to the concept of an opinion. It can be played three ways: (1) students practice responding to opinions, (2) students practice expressing opinions, or (3) students practice distinguishing between facts and opinions.

Setup

Arrange the place markers (see materials list) in a large circle. In addition to the facts and opinions from appendix A (page 209), teachers can come up with their own list of facts and/or opinions in advance, or make them up on the fly during the game. Teachers should be prepared to explain and provide examples of different facts and opinions.

Opinions should be simple and relatable to students so that they may decide whether or not they agree. To illustrate, a personal statement such as “I love my dog Lucky” is not a great option because students have probably never met your dog Lucky. The following list includes examples of the types of opinions teachers might generate:

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Chapter 5: Rapid Fire

Katie Rogers Marzano Research ePub

5

Rapid Fire

For upper elementary, middle school, and high school students

Rapid Fire is a fast-paced dueling game in which pairs of students race to answer a question. The game is based on the head-to-head version of Pepper from Doug Lemov’s (2010) book Teach Like a Champion and has been modified for use as an argument game. Rapid Fire is meant to be a review, not an introduction to new material. It is specifically intended to develop students’ fluency with argumentation—in other words, their ability to recognize elements of a strong argument almost automatically (Marzano, 2007). Teachers can also use Rapid Fire as a filler activity. Start a pickup game while students are standing in line, before the bell rings, or during any other brief period of downtime, such as a warm-up or a brain break.

Setup

To play, elementary students need to be familiar with distinguishing facts from opinions. Middle school students need to understand the difference between a claim and backing and be able to recognize the three different types of backing (expert opinion, research results, and factual information). High school students need to understand the three types of backing and be able to recognize qualifiers.

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