Discuss any term from the AllSides Dictionary
This provides teachers and students the materials and guidance for students to learn different perspectives on any AllSides Dictionary term, discuss them and listen to each other in a respectful and civil manner, and appreciate differences while finding common ground.
With news and materials from left, center and right sources plus a structured process for discussion, teachers, administrators and parents can be assured that multiple points of view are discussed and respected in a civil, beneficial manner.
☛ Teachers! Have you done the Relationships First component in your classroom yet? Consider starting with it to establish a solid foundation. ☚
Primary Learning Goals:
Also see how this program complies with Common Core standards.
Collaboration: Students will discuss the Dictionary term while working in small groups (if a large class) or as an entire class.
Civil conversation and conflict resolution: Students will learn how to listen, understand and respect one another’s views, especially when there are differences of opinion and background.
Research and analysis: Students will have a deeper understanding of the different perspectives on the selected Dictionary term, including their own, their classmates, and the country at large, through researching the topic across biases and discussing.
References for Understanding:
Current news and opinions
Think tanks and more
Think Tank Search
Participate in an Online Dialog:
Have a specific question for students to discuss online? Email us to start a new Classroom Dialog
AllSides Dictionary: Find a full list of all our dictionary terms from abortion to Zionism.
Particulars of Class Activities for 1 (or more) Day Program:
★ This can be done as a single class or over several class periods. Extending the lesson will allow for more in depth understanding.★
Homework prior to class:
Students will read the selected Dictionary term. (Optional: They will also read related terms and Conversation Catalysts.)
Students will spend 20-30 min looking at the most recent news about the selected Dictionary term from different perspectives.
Optional based on class size: Teacher divides students into small groups, preferably a mix of biases. (Have students complete a simple bias quiz for homework 2 days prior so the Teacher has a chance to evaluate if similar has never been conducted previously.)
Check out the "Questions to play with" on your selected term.
Final Questions to pose to students, either as homework or just as a wrap up: What is one important thing you thought was accomplished here? Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation you just had?