Hold a class debate on the following motion: Corporations have an obligation to act morally.
Divide students into teams that will argue for or against the motion. In those teams have students conduct research in order to prepare to argue their position. Ask them to consider which resources they will consult and to identify possible biases inherent in said resources. How can they make sure their research offers a balanced view of the issue? Remind them that bias can weaken their argument.
Use the following rules of the Canadian National Debating Format Style Guide to prepare students to stage their debate. http://osdu.on.ca/0/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/CNDF_Rules.pdf)
Decide who will moderate the debate – perhaps another teacher, principal, or student from another class. Invite another class to attend the debate and offer them the opportunity to ask questions of the debaters. By secret ballot, ask these students to vote for the team they believe made the most persuasive argument for or against the motion.
Which side won the debate? Why? Did students feel as though the voting audience a)understood the arguments presented? and b) were objective?
What would they change about the process? Do students feel they could have argued either side of the motion?
Post-Show Exercise #1
Try the debate from the pre-show exercise again but this time with students in role as business executives, employees of ENRON , shareholders, board members of ENRON, lobbyists, senators or members of Congress, academics, activists, stakeholders (in the case of ENRON, customers), community members and others that students feel could be implicated in the issues presented in ENRON.
How did it feel to debate in role?
Did you agree with your character's viewpoint? If so, did this make it easier to stay in role? If not, how did you feel arguing the other side of the position?
Post-Show Exercise #2
Many have compared the fall of ENRON to a Greek tragedy. Why? Do students agree with this comparison?
Have students research elements of Greek tragedy and create two different flow charts that illustrate this comparison. Then have students outline key plot points of the fall of ENRON.
Next, divide students into groups and assign each group one element of the plot. Ask students to adapt this element into a scene from a Greek tragedy.
Have students present their scenes in the order of the plot points of the ENRON story.