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Civil Conversation and Civic Role Plays


Civil Conversation engages students in a close reading and analysis of a text that presents at least two sides of an issue. Students then participate in a structured small-group discussion about the issue, using evidence from the text. Finally, students reflect on their participation in the conversation, with an emphasis on reaching their own informed conclusions and considering where they found common ground with their classmates. It is intentionally not a debate, but a chance for students to engage in thoughtful dialogue.

Role plays and simulations require students to examine an issue from an assigned perspective. These activities provide a unique opportunity for students to examine content through a specific lens, to recognize bias, and ultimately, to draw evidence- and text-based conclusions in ways that are engaging and meaningful.
Not all role play/simulation lessons will achieve these goals of academic discussion, but those available in our free Curriculum Library will. Plus they offer a range of standards-aligned topics. 

Two important notes when implementing these strategies:

  • Some of the lessons in this library deal with controversial issues. Consider your own students and community as you choose topics.
  •  If you make modifications to any of these lessons, please let us know so that we can continue to update and improve them!
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