~ SharkFriends Shark Debate ~

Teachers, this shark debate is designed to educate your students about sharks, shark conservation, debate, and research. Print the exercise listed below and have your students follow it...

1. Split your class into 2 teams.
2. Assign Team #1 to research shark scientific facts, shark biology information, the importance of sharks to the ocean environment, and the possibility of sharks becoming extinct.
3. Assign Team #2 to research shark attacks, products that are made from sharks, medical uses for shark parts, and the economic role that shark fishing and finning plays in some countries.

Have Teams #1 and #2 select a debate group of 3 persons from each team to present/debate the facts learned from their research. Set a period of time for the debate to last (10 minutes per team or longer depending on total class time).

1. Are sharks really man-eating monsters?
2. Are sharks more valuable to the environment alive or dead?
3. Does their importance commercially outway their importance environmentally?
4. Do sharks need protection and conservation or should they continue to be used for commercial products?
5. What would happen to the economy of countries that fish and fin sharks if they could no longer do so?
6. What would happen if sharks were to become extinct?
7. What compromises could be made between those wanting to protect sharks and those using sharks for commercial use?

When the debate time is over have an entire class discussion, so after hearing both sides of this debate, students can share their final conclusions about sharks.

This assignment will allow your students to come to educated conclusions about sharks. It will also teach them about the different sides of the issues involving sharks, what its like to debate those issues, and help them by debating and presenting the facts to realize the importance of shark conservation.

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