Tug for Truth: Pictures of Practice
What does the routine look like in action?

Using the routine to explore a truth claim
Lotta Norell, grade 7, Lemshaga Akademi

Lotta Norell's 7th graders have been thinking about the concept of truth as they learn about and practice how to debate. Students in this class used the Tug of War routine to debate the claim "Computer games make children violent."

Example of "tugs" and "what if" questions posted on a rope in the Tug for Truth. Moveable post-it notes make it easy to change and relocate ideas on the rope continuum.



Students first used the think, pair, share routine to develop their ideas. Then, as students began to palce their post-it notes onthe rope, they found out that some of the ideas would not fit on neatly on true or false, but needed to be somewhere in the middle. Scroll down to see student responses. When all ideas were resprented and the tug of war was complete, the group looked over the documentation on the board and the agreed that there were a lot of things to think of before you come to a conclusion that something is true or not. Although some students changed their mind after this discussion he claim that video games make children violent remained undecided.

The lesson was continued by staging an actual debate around the same topis. The students created two groups representing both sides of the tug of war, with one student acting as a moderator. Students were able to find arguments around this statement and understoond how important the "what if” questions can be. They could see the problem from different viewpoints – for example a young child´s or a parents.



Not true  

If you play bad games

Some children want to be the hero.

Children do no understand that it is only a game.

It  is a difference to films because games are more realistic.

There are no age limit on computer games.

Some parents do not know what their children are playing.

Affects most boys( girls are mostly prompted to be cute and play with dolls)

Small children are affected

If you do not do anything else but play computer games.


If a child is violent it doesn´t mean that he/she has played video games.

Children understand that it is only a game

It is useful because you learn a lot.

The ability to live the part means everything.

The games are not realistic.

Some children get more violent from the news and other programs on tv.















What ifs

Depends on how the game is constructed

What your friends are like

Depends on how your parents act on your behavior

How much a child watches TV

How you look at computer games

How often you play