Fishbowl/Open Debate over the question, The United States should have ratified the Treaty of Versailles and Joined the League of Nations
Students will have to research the treaty, the arguments in the U.S. about the treaty and the League, and they will have to formulate sound reasons for their stance.
2. Continuity and change in the history of Missouri, the United States and the world
6. Relationships of the individual and groups to institutions and cultural traditions
Benchmark 3: The student uses a working knowledge and understanding of individuals, groups, ideas, developments, and turning points of the Era of World War (1914-1945).
1. (A) analyzes the causes and immediate consequences of WWI (e.g., imperialism rivalries: Triple Entente, Triple Alliance, nationalism, arms race in England, France, and Germany; Treaty of Versailles, reparations, War Guilt Clause).
Benchmark 5: The student engages in historical thinking skills.
1. (A) analyzes a theme in world history to explain patterns of continuity and change over time.
Read documents regarding the Treaty of Versailles debates
Students will be given a homework (reading) assignment the night before the debate that will ask them to research the Treaty of Versailles, the League of Nations, and the debate surrounding both in the United States
Students will be given a paper with the debate question listed at the top of the paper and then split into two columns, "Pro" and "Con". They will have to list five (5) reasons under each of those columns (they will be turned in the next morning before school; teacher will quickly check each paper and hand back to the student before the debate begins) the debate will begin with two students facing each other at the front of the room, seated in chairs the teacher will begin the debate by flipping a coin to see which student starts; once decided, then the first student will begin with either a pro or con statement in relation to the question; the other student will respond with an opposite statement in counter to what the first student stated; the teacher must decide which made the more salient point; that student remains, while a new student takes the other's place; the student remaining must continue in the same vein as their first question (either pro or con) and the new student must counter in that vein; once againthe teacher decides who stays; etc.
Students may go up more than once; they can bring in any factual information about the question the teacher must make sure there is no monopolization by one student
Students will turn in a short written summary of the arguments stating which side won and what argument was most influential in convincing them in deciding that, plus what it was about that argument that persuaded them to choose it (due the next class period)
A good way to make sure of the fairness of the scoring process is to film the debate; it can also be used by the students if they wish to review it [after school] to fulfill their homework assignment
The next class period should contain a debriefing session on the debate; the teacher should make sure the students understand what the entire lesson was about