C-SPAN Classroom Deliberations is a resource for teachers who want to engage their students in research and debate around major issues in the United States. Teachers can choose from 25 different issues -- some of which are timeless ("How should the government address poverty in the United States?") and some of which are a little more specific to a particular event ("How should the U.S. respond to the Russian annexation of Crimea?") but still work in any context. Each issue has its own page that includes a lesson plan, vocabulary preview, classroom aids (like note-taking guides and info handouts), plus info on the actual deliberations and conclusions reached by U.S. lawmakers. These pages also feature C-SPAN videos that represent multiple perspectives on each issue plus links to reputable outside resources with additional info on the issue at hand. There's a strong focus on providing high-quality primary source documents that students can use to explore real-life issues in detail.
Meanwhile, the site features 10 different "deliberation activities" that teachers can use to engage their students in exploring and debating these issues. Each activity includes an overview, steps for implementation, and additional resources to help teachers implement the activity in their classroom. This site is an extraordinary resource for getting kids engaged in the real-world issues that face the President and members of Congress. Activities range from writing activities (like writing a position paper) to in-class activities (like holding a moot court) to creation activities (like building your own deliberation website).
Classroom Deliberations feels like the best possible way to use C-SPAN's videos: It's a laser-focused, targeted way to view short videos, read short texts, and then actively engage with the issues that matter most in a high-stakes decision-making process. Teachers can get a pretty good sense of the issues by glancing at the overall list; spend your time delving into the detailed descriptions of the activities to get a sense of which ones suit your classroom best. No matter which activity you choose, there's a ton to support you and your students, so check this out as a one-off activity for your classroom or as a regular feature of your class's engagement with current events and issues.Continue reading Show less
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claims.
Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.
Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.
Reading Informational Text
Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).
Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium’s portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims.
Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts.
Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation.
Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.
Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (e.g., Washington’s Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms speech, King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”), including how they address related themes and concepts.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).
Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.