Who's Controlling Your Life?

Bothered by curfew?

Can't wear what you want to school?

Don't see the value in homework?

Frustrated with censorship?

Know your rights! Speak up! Don't stand by passively and let the world pass you by. Educate yourselves about issues that matter to you! Decisions are made by adults every day that affect your life and your future. Today you have been given the opportunity to take an active role in knowing your world.

There are people in the world who disagree with you. They're wrong, of course, so it's useful to develop skills in persuasion. A persuasion task goes beyond a simple retelling by requiring you to develop a convincing case that is based on what you've learned.

Your task is to convince your audience of your point of view.

The Task

The task contains two main elements.

  1. 1. As a group of four people you will create a powerpoint presentation about your issue. You will present both the pros and cons of your issue. The group will educate the class about the topic. Following the presentation, the group will lead a thoughtful class discussion about the topic.

  2. 2. Each individual group member will be responsible for writing a persuasive essay in which he/she will defend his/her viewpoint about a particular issue.

The Process

1. Choose an issue from the list below about which you feel passionately. Use the links provided to research both the pros and cons of the issue and gather information to support both sides of your issue. 

2. Controversial Issues
Should schools have dress codes?

Music Labeling: Information or Censorship?

Internet Filters: Should we have limited access?

Teen Driving

Is Homework Necessary?

Do we need curfews?

3. Powerpoint Presentation

  1. 1. You will be placed in groups of four according to your topic.

  2. 2. Use the links provided with each topic to research your issue. Gather information about each side of the issue (pros and cons).

  3. 3. As a group put together a powerpoint presentation in which you educate the class about your issue. Your presentation must meet the following criteria:

  4. 4. Powerpoint Criteria

  5. 1. A title slide

  6. 2. Six information slides in which the issue is clearly stated and both sides of issue are equally represented

  7. 3. Three of the six information slides must contain a graphic

  8. 4. Graphics must either be scanned or imported from the internet

  9. 5. A bibliography slide

  10. 6. Students can (but are not required to) make use of PowerPoint options, such as slide transitions, and sound

  11. 7. Storyboard your slides

  12. 8. Following your presentation, you will need to conduct a thoughtful class discussion about your issue. Please click here for more information about leading a good classroom discussion.

5. Essay

Each individual group member must write a persuasive essay in which he/she will defend his/her viewpoint about a particular issue.

  1. 1. Read the information about Persuasive Essay Writing.

  2. 2. You must complete the following Think Sheet . This must be submitted with your final draft. It will be graded.

  3. 3. You must complete the following Outline. This must be submitted with your final draft. It will be graded.

  4. 4. You must write a rough draft.

  5. 5. After completing the rough draft you must have a peer and a parent complete an Editing Sheet

  6. 6. When submitting the final draft you must include the following items: a.) Think Sheet, b.) Rough Draft, c.) Outline d.) Peer Editing Sheet, e.) Parent Editing Sheet, f.) Final Draft


--Rubric for Powerpoint Presentation

--Rubric for Persuasive Essay


The stand you take today may influence your life as well as the lives of others. Hopefully it will encourage you to take an active role in issues that affect you. Politicians are hired by voters. Let them know who you are and what you want. Your continued involvement can affect the interpretation of the Bill of Rights and your future. Keep watch over your government representatives and voice your opinions. Stay involved!

Credits & References

A WebQuest for 6th Grade Language Arts

Designed by Kirsten Missett

Adapted by David Rowan, Westgate Community Charter School

Last updated on January 2011. Based on a template from The WebQuest Page