Beacon Lesson Plan Library

And Your Point Is . . .? Part I

Lois Christensen
Colleges and Universities - Florida


This is Part I of a two-part series. Part I introduces students to point of view through a structured WebQuest. Part II (See Weblinks) extends understanding through student engagement in a variety of debate activities.


The student checks the validity and accuracy of information obtained from research, in such ways as differentiating fact and opinion, identifying strong vs. weak arguments, recognizing that personal values influence the conclusions an author draws.

The student selects and uses appropriate formats for writing, including narrative, persuasive, and expository formats, according to the intended audience, purpose, and occasion.


-Paper, several sheets per student
-1 or 2 Pencils/pens per student
-Computers with Internet connectivity, one per group (5 groups)
-Word processing software
-Inspiration software (optional)
-Board or overhead projector


1. The teacher should refresh his/her knowledge of the format of a debate--structured arguments, timed responses, etc.
2. Research any recent community debates (community issues or political issues) to use as discussion examples.
3. Students need to have knowledge of the software called Inspiration. (A free 30-day trial of the software may be downloaded from It is most effective for planning a presentation, particularly the concept map and outlining functions. The software is easy for students to use and produces colorful documents.
4. Become familiar with the Love Canal Debate WebQuest. (See Weblinks)
5. And Your Point Is...? Part II presents other topics for debate by groups of students. (See Weblinks)


This lesson uses a WebQuest. A WebQuest is a type of lesson plan that incorporates links to, from, and along the World Wide Web. Students are presented a scenario and a task, usually a problem to solve or a project to complete. The students are given Internet resources and asked to analyze and synthesize the information and come up with their own creative solutions. It is a safe and productive way to have students use the Internet.

1. Discuss the concept of debate with students. Bring out the idea that debate occurs when two people or sides take opposing views of an issue and both sides believe they are right.

2. Talk about opinions. Be sure that students understand that expressed opinions must have documented support or valid reasons behind them. Link this idea with the students' knowledge of expository writing and the concept of supporting details.

3. Consider (in discussion) an issue such as, "Some people believe that humans should eat three meals a day with no snacks." Talk about why some people would believe that way (supporting details). Then talk about the opposite side and the reasons (supporting details) why other people believe in some alternate eating pattern. Keep track of the ideas generated in two columns on the board or overhead. Explain to the class that each of these sides represents a “point of view.”

4. Explain that they are going to engage in a debate based on an environmental issue. Divide the students into five teams that represent five different points of view. (The WebQuest is set up so that several teams of five students can work on the project. Each member becomes one point of view. Because this is an introduction to “point of view,” this lesson plan uses an alternate structure in which the entire class is divided up into five groups so that each group's members can collaborate on their assigned point of view.)

5. Introduce the WebQuest. Review all components, including the scoring rubric for the report and the presentation. Let the students start working on the material.

1. Devote this class period to student work on the computer and the writing of the reports. If available, Inspriation software may be used as a planning tool for the report.

2. Be available for assistance as needed.

1. Present the reports. One student from each group should be selected by his/her group members to present the report.

2. Discuss/debrief the reports.

3. Debrief the debate process.

4. Evaluate reports and presentations using the WebQuest rubrics (or amend the rubrics to suit your purpose or class needs).


Rubrics are contained in the Love Canal Debate WebQuest. (See Weblinks) In addition, use a student survey addressing the questions below. If planning to use Part II of this lesson, the survey questions and answers should be recorded in student journals for follow-up with the debate topics in Part II.

The survey questions are:
-How have your views been affected by the debate?
-Did you change your mind on the issue? Why?
-How did it feel to argue each point of view?
-What did you learn?

Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.


Select group members to provide for broad diversity of ability. Because the groups are organized so that each group assumes the identity of one role in the WebQuest, the group members will be able to collaborate on the research and report development. This type of group structure facilitates learning for lower-achieving students by lowering the risk of the unknown and spreading it across the group.

Web Links

Scroll down to the Love Canal Debate
Web Quest Information

Web supplement for And Your Point Is . . .? Part I
And Your Point Is? Part II

Web supplement for And Your Point Is . . .? Part I
ISTE NETS Standards

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