A Way to Teach Culture: Guns or No Guns
Promote discussion and debate skills within the context of familiarizing students with a controversial issue in the target culture.
- Appropriate materials about gun history in America
(One text, from Prentice Hall, is "The American Way" which has a very good chapter in it.)
- Appropriate visual or written materials outlining the pros and cons about gun control
http://www.internetuniv.com/netvote96/guncontrol/guncontrol.htm has infomation about the pros and cons of gun control in terms of a presidential campaign.)
This activity offers a way of dealing with a controversial aspect of American culture, the gun-control issue, by supplying information of gun control and two different views about gun-control.
- Explain the background history of guns in America.
- Use material outlining arguments related to gun control (Time, Newsweek, World Report, and the National Review have had many examples over the years. For those with access to the World Wide Web, see the address above.)
- Form students into small groups (4-6) and have them debate the gun control issue from opposing viewpoints.
- Act as moderator in a discussion to follow the debate.
- Background history of guns in the US should be explained in a way that minimizes any prejudice or preconceived notion that students might have.
- The teacher should not, at least initially, offer his or her opinion. This could influence the debate in a negative way.
- A follow-up activity could be one in which the students write summaries about positions on gun-control.