My kids never run out of things to say and that is one thing I truly LOVE about them. They can be really passionate talking about matters that interest them. Hence, I feel wonderful that my partner in Grade 5 suggested holding a debate for Social Studies.
After discussing the importance of the Silk Road in establishing or pioneering global trade, I divided the kids into two teams so they could debate on its pros and cons.
As always, they wowed me with their insights. They did research beforehand, however, some raised points during the actual debate that made all of us think. They gave convincing arguments as well as evidence.
The affirmative side said that the Silk Road was a great venue for exchanging goods which a country/place may lack as well as medical technology. They also pointed out that it caused countries to unite for the sake of trade. Lastly, they argued that it pioneered breaking physical barriers among places. One student made the notable remark that yes, journeying the Silk Road may be dangerous due to the differences in climate of the places along the routes. However, “it is the only the fear of the unknown and that people will get used to it once the routes were established”. My jaw dropped for a second there.
On the other hand, the negative side argued that the establishment of the Silk Road was disadvantageous because one, there were bandits who robbed the traveling merchants. Two, the differences in climates caused sickness or even death in the merchants. Three, diseases (Bubonic plague, for instance) spread out and claimed thousands of lives. Lastly, it paved the way for the movement of warfare as well.
Both sides presented strong and brilliant arguments that until now, I am torn on which team I will declare as the winner on Monday. But I think that everyone is already a winner for a job well done!