Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Resources for Teachers



Title – Human Trafficking & Modern Day Slavery – Debating the Fundamentals

Unit Topic: Sociology

Grade Level: College

Lesson Topic: Debating Fundamental Issues of Modern-day Slavery

Primary Method Used: Cooperative Learning and Competitive Interaction (Debate)

Purpose of the Lesson

The purpose of this lesson is to have students become informed on trafficking & slavery issues and then participate in a structured debate relating to those issues

Duration of the Lesson: 2 class sessions

Lesson Objectives: Students will be able to:

1.      Identify and research issues relating to trafficking and slavery

2.      Work in teams to prepare arguments which support their point of view

Equipment and Supplies Needed (for preparation):

PC access to both the Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery website and to the HREA Study Guide on Slavery and Forced Labor.



Anticipatory Set: The anticipatory set for this lesson will be a brief description of some of the forms of modern-day slavery, and how human trafficking & slavery are defined by international laws and conventions.




Procedure – Part 1

1.      Instructor selects one of the topics from the web page   

2.      Instructor explains what will take place during the remainder of this class meeting and during the next class meeting (see Procedure – Part 2).  Distribution of a printed copy of this lesson plan is recommended.

3.      Instructor divides the class into an even number of groups, each with four or more students (six students would be ideal).  Half of the groups will be expected to develop the pro positions on the topic and the other half will develop the con positions of the topic.

4.      Class breaks into assigned groups and has 15 - 20 minutes to do some brainstorming to develop arguments relevant to their position on the topic.  Each member of the group is asked to give some input.  The arguments are recorded and the group sets a time and place to meet prior to the next class session.

5.      At their out-of class meeting, each group researches and refines their arguments and selects a leader.

Procedure – Part 2 (Back in Class)

6.      In the follow up class session, the group leaders on the pro side of the issue join together to form a team.  The con side group leaders do the same.  The teams take five minutes to get organized and appoint a spokesman.

7.      The debate is opened by the spokesman from the Pro team to summarize their position.  The opening statement should be between 2-3 minutes long. The Con team’s spokesman would then present their opening statement.

8.      Each member of the Pro team will then make a statement supporting the team’s position.  The Con team then does the same.

9.      The Con team then has the opportunity to rebut the statements made by the Pro team.  They can ask the Pro team for clarification on certain issues or they may question them on other issues that they feel to be relevant.  It is important that the debate moderator not let things get out of hand, while at the same time allowing the students the freedom to express their ideas.

10.  The roles then switch and the Pro team has the same opportunity to rebut arguments brought up by the Con team.

11.  Five minute intermission while the two teams organize their closing statements.

12.  The spokesman from the Pro team then takes 2-3 minutes to present their closing statement and is followed by the Con team’s spokesman.

Assignments: All students in the class will write a report, summarizing the pros and cons for the topic in a balanced way, without taking a position.  The original group leaders (the two debating teams) are exempt from this assignment and will be graded on their participation in the debate.