Athens vs. Sparta: An Argument-Based Project, with Documents, Debates, and Discussion

April 5, 2017 Les Lynn Argument and Literacy, Argumentative Writing, Resources, The Debatifier 1 Comment

Overview

Ancient Greece is often considered the birthplace of Western Civilization.  When we study the place and time of ancient Greece — in, for example, Humanities, World Studies, European History, Civics, or Government — we are studying seminal antecedents of the United States — social, cultural, educational, political.  One angle in this content is to contrast the primary city-states, and Peloponnesian War antagonists, Athens and Sparta.

This multi-layered argument-based project has students study the two city-states through five domains of these comparable but contrasting societies: economy, education, government, military, and treatment of women & slaves.  Students engage in close examination of primary and secondary documents, extensive written and oral discussion of the arguments in these documents, and Table Debates (with an argumentative writing component).  The debatable issue for this project is:

Which city-state, Athens or Sparta, presents us with the better model for organizing a society?

Implementation Plan

In lieu of the “method and procedure,” this post will focus on the 12-day Implementation Plan that is taking partner schools through the argumentalization of their study of ancient Greece.

Click here to download the Implementation Plan for the Athens vs. Sparta Argument-Based Project.

Day 1

Introduce the project

Discuss the debatable issue and the five societal domains: economics, education, government, military, and treatment of women & slaves

Screen the Athens vs. Sparta background video

Day 2

Brainstorm and list out possible argumentative claims on both sides of the debatable issue.

Take the class through the Athens vs. Sparta Venn Diagram Presentation

Conduct quick writes during the presentation to engage students and check for understanding

Pair students into two-person teams and assign them sides

Click here to download the Athens vs. Sparta Venn Diagram Presentation.

Day 3

Support and monitor student work on the Venn Diagram Argument-Based Questions

Collect and formatively Venn Diagram Argument-Based Questions

Click here to download the Athens vs. Sparta Venn Diagram Argument-Based Questions.

Day 4

Hand back and present feedback on students’ Venn Diagram Argument-Based Questions

Distribute and have students begin working on the Documents & Arguments

Day 5

Support and monitor student work on Documents & Arguments

Circulate to find patterns of difficulty on Documents & Arguments and discuss those challenges

Showcase successful student work

Click here to download the Athens vs. Sparta Documents & Arguments.

Day 6

Support and monitor student work on Documents & Arguments

Showcase successful student work

Collect and formative assess Documents & Arguments

Day 7

Hand back and present feedback on students’ Documents & Arguments

Orient students on the Table Debates format

Distribute Argument Builders and Counter-Argument Builders

Review Argument Builder and Counter-Argument Builder models

Support and monitor student work on Argument Builders

Day 8

Announce pairings for the Table Debates – each team should get two opponents

Continue to support and monitor student work on Argument Builders

Collect and formatively assess Argument Builders

Day 9

Hand back and present feedback on Argument Builders

Support and monitor student work on Counter-Argument Builders and revision of Argument Builders

Day 10

Review the Table Debates format and flow sheet

Support and monitor final student work on Counter-Argument Builders

Click here to download the Table Debates Format.

Day 11

Conduct Table Debates

Collect and assess Table Debates Flowsheets

Day 12

Conduct in-class argument writing assessment

Trackbacks for this post

  1. Hidden Intellectualism | Argument-Centered Education

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *