Students express their stance on statements by moving to different parts of the classroom and describe the reasons behind their choices.

Objectives

  1. Cognitive: Students will be able to choose a position on various statements and explain their positions.
  2. Affective: Students will feel comfortable expressing their viewpoint in a group setting and demonstrate increased tolerance of others’ opinions.

Materials

A large space; signs (Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, Strongly Agree); pre-planned statements

Teacher Prep

Prepare 5 signs with Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, Strongly Agree; prepare statements to read or show

Statement ideas:

  1. Honesty is always the best policy.
  2. Fairness and equality are not always the same thing.
  3. You must make mistakes to learn.
  4. It is always important to consider the greater good.
  5. I would rather be successful than well-liked.

Optional: Align this activity with subject-area content, ensuring that all statements are accessible and thought-provoking regardless of background knowledge.

Exercises

Time Activity Notes
2 min
  • Explain to students they will take a stance on various statements and have the opportunity to explain their viewpoint.
  • One side of the room is designated as one end of the spectrum “strongly agree” and the other as “strongly disagree”. Clearly identify the positions on the continuum by putting up the pre-made signs.
  • Explain that students will discuss briefly with others in the same position and share out with the group.
Check that students understand the positions on the continuum before beginning.
10 min
  • Show or read the first statement and students move to their position.
  • Students discuss why they chose that position and nominate a speaker.
  • One student from each group shares out their stance.
  • Repeat the process of presenting statements, moving, discussing, and sharing as necessary. This process can be repeated as many times as necessary.
Set expectation that the speaker is uninterrupted and not challenged.

Encourage all students to share comments from the groups.

3 min
  • Wrap up the activity by highlighting that everyone has a different background with different value systems at home, culturally, and individually.
What’s it like to have a different opinion than others?

What was it like to listen respectfully to others opinions, even when you disagreed?

Teacher Reflection

How did you feel after the activity? Did students participate and seem engaged?

Remember to ask the students to share their feedback on the activity: What went well? What suggestions do they have for making the activity better? Think about what you might do differently next time.

Emotional Intelligence Tips

  • Offer lower-stakes examples at first.
  • Encourage students to be patient, respectful, open, and reserve judgment
  • Encourage an open mind as students share different perspectives and reasons.
  • Model validation of each students’ opinion and reasoning

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