The Great Debaters: Lesson 2

Here is the second lesson plan for “The Great Debaters” unit, this one on Historically Black Colleges and Universities in general, and in particular on Wiley College, where the action in the film is primarily set.

I open this lesson with this context clues worksheet on forensic as a noun and adjective. The context in the sentences is, I think (or hope) strong enough, but it can also be connected to the previous lesson’s context clues worksheet on debate as a noun. I also use this second context context clues worksheet on debate as a verb. It too should help students understand the meaning of forensic, which may be a reason to reverse the order of these two exercises. In any case, that worksheet gives you an opening for a brief excursus on the parts of speech, since you have this word used as both a noun and a verb in the first lesson. In short, with the right planning, there are plenty of connections to be made here.

Finally, here is the reading and comprehension worksheet that is at the center of this lesson. I initially imagined assigning this as in-class group work, with each group responsible for two vocabulary words and two questions. However, this also can be used in small-group instruction, as a whole-class activity. Again, in short, I wrote this to be used responsively and flexibly with students.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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