Karen Beckerman, Garden City High School, Garden City, UT PORNOGRAPHY DEBATE Appropriate for grade 12. OVERVIEW: This is a timely and interesting activity for senior high school students. It provides government students with a study and the experience with the fundamental right of freedom of expression as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution. PURPOSE: The purpose of this activity is to provide students with the insight into the complexities of protecting the individuals right of expression. OBJECTIVES: Students will be able to: 1. Identify the First Amendment as providing for freedom of expression, understand the importance and demonstrate a working knowledge of parliamentary procedure. 2. Demonstrate skill in doing a research paper, understanding the complicated issue of pornography. 3. Demonstrate skills in knowledge of organization and function of their local government. ACTIVITIES: 1. Students will attend a meeting of local government. 2. Students will practice parliamentary procedure and demonstrate understanding of the rules. 3. Students will write a research paper on the "pros" and "cons" of pornography. 4. The class will be divided into five groups: a. A city council with a presiding officer. b. Two "con" groups against the passage of an anti- pornography ordinance. 1. A coalition against censorship. 2. Pornography suppliers within the community (bookstore owners, etc.). c. Two "pro" group for the passage of an anti-pornography ordinance. 1. The police department. 2. Citizens against pornography. (Note: It is interesting to place students in a position of having to defend their opposite view point.) 5. The City Council drafts an anti-pornography ordinance. (Can be limited or a complete ban.) 6. The presiding officer then conducts an orderly town meeting (?) to hear all sides of the issue and the Council then votes on the ordinance. RESOURCES/MATERIALS NEEDED: School library resources on pornography. TYING IT ALL TOGETHER: Students should attend a City Council meeting. They are prepared to present either point of view in an orderly procedure. They must use factual information to persuade their peers. And finally, they must accept the decision of the elected officials in limiting or broadening their First Amendment right.
Click here to return to OFCN's Academy Curricular Exchange
Click here to return to OFCN's Academy
Click here to return to OFCN's Main Menu