5th graders debate

This week in Social Studies, my co-teacher, Mrs. G, and I gathered our classes together and traveled back in time to the Tower of London in 1607. Our task was to decide on the best candidate to lead the colony of Jamestown in the New World.
We began by gathering for the entrance of King James into our court. In case you can't tell, that's "God Save the Queen" playing in the background.

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Then the teachers took turns announcing the directions in our best attempt at a British accent. Unfortunately for you (and fortunately for me), I don't have video of this since I was participating. But let's just say it's a good thing our superintendent (who is British) wasn't there to witness this part!
Then the kids got to work evaluating each candidate according to the following criteria: bravery, experience in the new world, leadership experience, and connections in court.

After each group narrowed down their choice, they planned how best to persuade the king to pick their candidate. Then each group presented their argument in front of the king. Below is my favorite video of one of our students. Make sure to listen for his British accent...pretty good!!

YouTube Video

After each group presented their choice, we opened it up for individuals to openly debate the candidates. We did this in a Quaker Meeting format which allowed for a calm, organized debate where everyone had a chance to speak their mind. You can see this in action below.

YouTube Video

We had such a great time with this lesson: the kids learned a lot and were so well-behaved. It was fun to listen to everyone's attempts at speaking in a British accent! Some of them were awesome at it while others (like me!) you could not help but laugh at.

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