Anytime we write a blog post it’s with YOU, the adopter, in mind! Having been in the classroom ourselves, we understand that educators need ideas that aren’t just great, but are also realistic and practical to implement in the classroom. When we get tips and ideas from adopters in the field using The Walking Classroom, we know that they’re meaningful and doable because they are already teacher-tested and approved. Adopter and teacher, K.F., shared this fabulous idea and we couldn’t wait to share it with all of you!!
As adults we all know life is not fair. As teachers we do our best to make sure our classrooms are fair. When a dilemma appears unfair we try to help students see past their own beliefs and examine all the details of the dilemma. It is not always an easy task even though it is important to have an appreciation of a fairness dilemma. One way I have found to help students see all sides of a dilemma is Tug-of-War.
Tug-of-War, educational style, is a thinking routine from Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding, and Independence for All Learners that helps students examine the factors that “tug” on both sides of a dilemma. It asks students to find support for their reasoning and then to think of reasons to support the other side of the dilemma.
After we came in from our walk and listening to the podcast “Casey at the Bat” (Program 5 – # 5) I presented the students with a controversial issue from the poem – The Mudville Hens lost the game that day. Do you think this was Casey’s fault? Then I gave students sticky notes and had them write down their supporting evidence to either agree or disagree.
The conversations they had while they were writing out their sticky notes were phenomenal. Students were quoting part of the text, pulling in personal experiences of being part of a team, discussing what teamwork means and who they thought was ultimately responsible. There were a lot of students who found evidence for both sides.
TWC Tug-of-War Topics
There are so many ways you can incorporate Tug-of-War into Walking Classroom lessons. We’ve included a few more ideas below to help you get started!
4-#20, Stem-#44 – Dr. Christiaan Barnard – Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first heart transplant. There were many risks involved and though the transplant was successful, the patient died not long after. The second transplant was much more successful. Should doctors take medical risks?
4-#54 – Boston Massacre – Was it wrong for Paul Revere to misrepresent the events of the Boston Massacre in his drawing?
4-#56 – Deborah Sampson – Was it wrong for Deborah Sampson to pretend to be a man in order to fight in the Revolutionary War?
5-#50 – Harriet Tubman – Harriet Tubman used some tactics that might be seen as a little extreme in order to safely transport slaves on the underground railroad. Was she justified in using these methods?
5-#71: Parody – Is humor always appropriate?
5-#15, STEM-#10 – Albert Einstein – Are some scientific discoveries, like the atomic bomb, bad, even if the individual had good intentions?
Have an idea to share? Email: Kalie@TheWalkingClassroom.org or submit
your idea here!