Open Class – 4th grade Korean debates

Korean schools have a tradition of hosting an “open class” where parents are invited to watch a lesson.  That day was today!  Luckily my team leaders prepared a great lesson to keep things flowing smoothly across the grade.  We spent two blocks over the last few days teaching our students all about debates.

Before getting into the meat and potatoes of it we taught key terms like affirmative team, negative team, rebuttal, etc.  Since its an ESL class we gave them easy to understand definitions and easy to use phrases.  4th grade appropriate resolutions (topics) like “students should where school uniforms,” “Television is better than books,” and “schools should give everyone candy” were used to practice and gave everyone a few laughs.

Teaching key phrases was great because it was practical and easy to implement.  We taught them how to start a rebuttal, give more support for an example and use the right words to state opinions.

Open class debate 1

On the morning of the open class I reminded the students that the parents were there to watch them.  Its actually true and not just some teacher ploy to keep my students in line!  Each parent was given a checklist of items like “my son/daughter pays attention to the teacher,” “my son/daughter speaks English at all times,” or “my son/daughter keeps their hands to themselves.”

Open class debate 2

As the parents arrived there were some quiet jitters from my students but they quickly got into the zone.  I reviewed our terms and the format before starting the debates which went off without a hitch!  They argued for and against “school should be 2 hours shorter,” “homework is illegal,” and “sports & games are more important than studies.”  I was even able to snap a few pictures/videos with my school sponsored Galaxy tablet in between moderating and a few prompts.

It was a little strange to have the parents filming/taking pictures in class but they were a great audience and had nothing but praise (even if it needed to be translated) at the end.  Now back to planning the next module… and my next trip!

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