Academy Curricular Exchange
Columbia Education Center
Social Studies



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.


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