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    horseshoe game
    By shasta

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    I attended a workshop on 6 trait writing and received a wonderful activity to intro persuasive writing. It's the horseshoe game. Each week, I have some sort of poll (usually pulled from www.timeforkids.com) that the students vote on. Last week we voted whether or not we should have uniforms. I always give them 3 choices: yes, no, or maybe. Students write their response down on a piece of paper, but do not discuss it with anyone. We then form a horseshoe with the yes side and no side facing each other and the maybes at the top of the horseshoe. I stand in the middle. Students are only allowed to talk if they have the koosh ball. I then toss the ball to each side, alternating who I throw it to. Students express their vote and give a 2 sentence reason why they feel that way. Once everyone has voiced their opinion, I ask if anyone has changed sides. If they have they move and then say why. We play this for about 3 weeks before we actually start writing about it. I continue to play the game as we are writing, after about 2 months, I begin asking people to move to the opposing side and write or defend it, even though they may not agree with it. My kids ask to play this every day. They really enjoy it. It also helps them develop debate skills.


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