Is there a beginning? Of a stream that is!
In this activity the students will discuss what they have discovered throughout the lesson.  They will debate there findings and conclusions.
Students will be able to:
  • Discuss their finding and conclusions from their experiment.
  • Debate the issue: Can we really find the beginning of a stream?
  • Classroom with desks arranged in a circle.
  • Colored note cards (green=agree, red=disagree)
  • Data from experiment
  • Conclusions from experiment
  • Debate support worksheet
Part One: Preparing for the debate/discussion

1. Before the students meet for the class discussion they will meet in their small groups (2-3 students) to review their data and conclusions while thinking about the following question:
~Can we determine the absolute beginning/starting point of a stream?
2. Each group will be asked to categorize their answer in one of the following ways:
~Yes: 100% you can pinpoint the beginning.
~Sometimes: Most of the time data supports.
~Maybe: Some data supports, some does not.
~Not Really: To many variables
~No: 100% you cannot pinpoint the beginning.
3. Once each group has determined how they are categorizing their answer they will need to have 3-5 items to use to support their choice. They will record their information on the Debate Support Worksheet, to use as a reference during the debate.
4. Before the debate begins the teacher will briefly talk to each group to record their position.
5. The class will then move to the desks that are set up in a circle, they will sit with their group members.
6. The groups will be arranged starting with the groups that chose Yes as their position through No.
7. Each group should have their Debate support worksheet, their final report to refer too and a red and green note card.

Part Two: Debate/Discussion

1. The teacher will call the class to order and announce the question that is being debated.
2. The teacher will move around the circle announcing the position that the group has chosen.
3. The teacher will then open the debate, students must raise there hand to speak and may only speak when called upon.  The students may make statements about the question or ask questions of other groups.  They may also raise the red card if they disagree with a statement and would like to comment or ask a question.  They may raise a green card if they agree with a statement and would like to comment or ask a question.
4. The debate will end when all the groups have had a chance to discuss their position.
5. After the debate is completed the class will again be asked to evaluate their position on the question.
6. The students will then be asked to again choose a position about the question and the class will vote.
7. Depending on which position has the most votes, that position will be determined the "winner" of the debate.
The following website was used to obtain information about debating in the classroom.

State Standards
1.1.2- The student will modify or affirm scientific ideas according to accumulated evidence.
1.1.3- The student will critique arguments that are based on faulty, misleading data or on the incomplete use of numbers.
1.5.4- The student will use tables, graphs, and displays to support arguments and claims in both written and oral communication.
1.5.9- The student will communicate conclusions derived through a synthesis of ideas.
3.5.1- The student will analyze the relationships between biotic diversity and abiotic factors in environments and the resulting influence on ecosystems.
3.6.2- The student will investigate a biological issue and be able to defend their position on topics such as animal rights, drug and alcohol abuse, viral diseases (e.g., AIDS), genetic engineering, bioethics, biodiversity, population growth, global sustainability, or origin of life. (NTB)
Lesson Resources