This Town Hall Wall asks students to respond and deliberate: Should the death penalty be abolished as cruel and unusual punishment?
Using the Town Hall Wall
With this format pioneered at the National Constitution Center, it is easy to turn your classroom into a town hall where constitutional issues are deliberated, following four simple steps:
- Opening: Students read the Town Hall Wall poster, which provides background and explains both sides of the issue, and write a simple “Yes” or “No” responses to the constitutional question on sticky notes placed on the poster.
- Values: Students read parts of the Constitution and other related primary sources to look for evidence that supports each side of the issue.
- Points of View: Students explore different points of view and the potential consequences of each point of view, then determine their own point of view.
- Deliberation: Students negotiate a class Compromise Statement by using the values each point of view has in common and deliberating the reasons for and against each perspective. The one-to-three-paragraph compromise statement includes the shared values, as well as evidence that support your students’ collective decision on how to address the constitutional issue.