This activity is based on a pro/con-article from The Guardian in which the two authors debate whether googling should be allowed in exams. For the exercise to work I cut the article in half giving each student only one side. I used the article as prompt and model for a pro/con discussion done in pairs.
Introduction: First, do a quick survey. Which students would like to be allowed to use Google in their next class test? Now, tell your students you wanted them to learn what other people think about the issue. Divide them into pairs. Each partner gets ONE half of the article.
Task for the students:
– Study your part of the text and make notes.
– Tell your partner about the arguments in your part of the text and listen to her summary.
– On your own, take notes of your partner’s summary. If necessary, ask your partner for more details.
– Together with your partner, find additional arguments for both sides.
– Find another partner and discuss the topic with her for 5 minutes. One of you has to represent the pro-side, the other has to represent the con-side. Use your discussion tickets.
While the students are working on their tasks you walk about the room coaching and giving feedback. At the end of the lesson, do the survey again and discuss the outcome with your class.
Tips and Tricks:
– Use printfriendly to create a decent looking worksheet from the newspaper article.
– Remember to follow up on the lesson with some activities that focus on some of the language used in the article.