Media Moments Western Reserve Public Media


Position Paper



Students will do research to find the pro's and con's on a controversial topic.

Students will make a demonstration to the class giving both pro's and con's and taking a position, based on fact, as to what their group believes.


(Subject area objectives will depend on the topic selected. The objectives listed below are those that would be accomplished while doing research on their topic.)

Grade 6 — Writing
The student will use the writing process to...

a. focus on the topic with adequate supporting ideas or examples
d. communicate clarity of thought

Grade 6 — Reading
Given a nonfiction text to read, the student will...

10. analyze the text…
11. summarize the text;
12. infer from the text
13. respond to the text

Grade 10 — Reading

Given a variety of selections, students will...

3. Recognize an author’s purpose and attitude (bias/slant).
4. Support an interpretation by locating specific information
12. Evaluate the effectiveness of resource material for a specific audience/purpose.



Web, Word Processor, Material as required by each group.



  1. Students will watch a television program, (news or documentary) and select a controversial topic. (An alternative approach is for the teacher to have questions about controversial issues available to the students. Questions can be drawn from news or documentary programs.)

  2. In groups, students will analyze the topic and decide and decide how the information will be collect to get arguments on both sides of the issue. Information sources include all of those listed on the Guidelines handout.

  3. Students will identify and list the major arguments on both sides of the issue and include facts to back up their arguments. Students should also consider possible outcomes and effects on the general well being and quality of life in their community.

  4. Students will form their won opinion on the issue. Teams should reach a consensus. Students should be able to describe the rationale behind their opinion.

  5. Students will create a presentation to the rest of the class that shares the pros and cons of their topic and the consensus of the group.

  6. Students will create a brief report to accompany the presentation including sections on the pros, cons and their consensus opinion.

  7. Students will make presentations to the class.




Teacher will evaluate the content of the lesson.

The following rubric will be used for evaluation.

CATEGORY 4 3 2 1
Organization Student presents information in logical, interesting sequence which audience can follow. Student presents information in logical sequence which audience can follow. Audience has difficulty following presentation because student jumps around. Audience cannot understand presentation because there is no sequence of information.
Content Knowledge Student demonstrates full knowledge (more than required) with explanations and elaboration. Student is at ease with content, but fails to elaborate. Student is uncomfortable with information and is able to answer only rudimentary questions. Student does not have grasp of information; student cannot answer questions about subject.
Visuals Student used visuals to reinforce screen text and presentation. Visuals related to text and presentation. Student occasional used visuals that rarely support text and presentation. Student used no visuals.
Mechanics Presentation has no misspellings or grammatical errors. Presentation has no more than two misspellings and/or grammatical errors. Presentation had three misspellings and/or grammatical errors. Student’s presentation had four or more spelling errors and/or grammatical errors.
Delivery Student used a clear voice and correct, precise pronunciation of terms. Student’s voice is clear. Student pronounces most words correctly. Student incorrectly pronounces terms. Audience members have difficulty hearing presentation. Student mumbles, incorrectly pronounces terms, and speaks too quietly for students in the back of class to hear.
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