Ivory Ban Debate

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Click Here to Download Lesson Plan: Ivory Ban Debate

This activity introduces students to the stakeholders in the ivory trade and gives them an opportunity to engage in a mock debate with other students who will take on the roles of different stakeholders. The activity is recommended to take three days, but can be modified by the teacher.

In the first hour students begin by discussing what they already know about elephants. Next they will read two articles, one about child activism in Hong Kong to ban ivory, and another about conservation groups that are pressuring the government to ban ivory. At the end of class and for homework students should make a list of stakeholders.

In the second hour students share their stakeholder lists for the class to create one master list. Next they answer the question “Should ivory trade be legal? Why or why not?” They first answer individually, then share with a partner, then finally share with a small group or the whole class. Next students should choose or be assigned a stakeholder and they will research the stakeholder to determine the stakeholder’s stance on banning ivory in order to prepare for the debate.

In the third hour students will participate in a debate. Students can work individually, in pairs or in small groups to represent their stakeholder, and they should argue on behalf of their stakeholder. At the end of the debate, representatives can vote on the issue.