Warm Up Questions:

  • When you have a strong opinion, how easy is it to listen to the opinions of others?
  • Can you keep your own opinion to yourself while you listen to someone else opine?
  • Why would this ability be valuable in your life?
  • In the following exercise, you will practice this listening skill.
  • From a list, you will select an issue extremely important to you.
  • Then, you will ask your classmates for their opinions on the issue, keeping your own opinion to yourself. (Lucky you if a classmate chooses to ask you about your choice! Don’t debate!)
  • You will make notes about your classmates’ opinions in preparation to give a summary presentation to the class.
  • How well will you be able to express the opinions of others?
  • At the conclusion of your presentation, you will finally be able to voice your own opinion on your chosen issue.

Directions:

From the list below, select a question that is close to your heart. Create a classmate roll sheet to help you interview each of your classmates about their position on your chosen question. Prepare to summarize each of their positions in a brief class presentation. Remember, you must NOT express your opinion while interviewing your classmates. When they interview you, then you can express your opinion, but only about the questions they ask you.

  1. Should native peoples, also known as aboriginals, have special rights that other national residents do not have?
  2. What kind of laws should control commercial advertising in a society?
  3. Who should decide what subjects get taught in children’s schools?
  4. Should a country have laws that control what people do to themselves?
  5. Should government control the relationship between parents and their children?
  6. How should people of the world protect the common resources of air and water?
  7. How should criminal anti-social behavior be defined?
  8. How can nations prevent themselves from becoming too crowded?
  9. What should other nations do about the government of a country that treats its people badly?
  10. Who should make the laws to protect children?
  11. What is art, and should government grant money to artists?
  12. How should a country decide what its official languages are?
  13. Should lawyers be permitted to keep secrets for their clients?
  14. Should health insurance cover cosmetic surgery?
  15. Should species in danger of extinction be protected?
  16. Who should make laws that control sports?
  17. What kinds of laws might increase driving safety?
  18. Should people be permitted to freely copy media for personal, educational, and non-commercial purposes?
  19. Should governments be permitted to freely copy drug formulas that fight serious health problems?
  20. What kinds of communication should not be protected by a right to freedom of speech?
  21. Does it really matter whether the human race continues to survive or not?
  22. How can nations best teach their people non-violent behavior?
  23. Should patents be granted for genetically modified organisms?
  24. Should national governments control business between their people and foreigners?
  25. Should laws prevent people from inflicting unnecessary suffering upon animals?
  26. Who should control a nation’s highways, energy, communication systems, water supply, sewage treatment, and waste management? National government or private industry?
  27. Should national governments spend money on space exploration if their populations still suffer from poverty, homelessness, illiteracy, and unemployment?
  28. Should a nation consider parenthood as a right or a privilege?
  29. Should filling a racial or gender quota in a company be more important than hiring according to ability?
  30. What rights should imprisoned criminals be granted?