Performance-based summative assessment

Development Debate

A large company wants to build a new factory on your town’s wetlands. Many people in the town are opposed to the idea, claiming it will disturb the local ecosystem and cause problems for residents. Others support the development, arguing that the new factory will bring jobs and money into the town. Representatives are called in to debate the issue before the town council.

Students will take on one of the stakeholders’ roles listed below. Find evidence to support that point of view and debate the issue in class. The roles are

  • Conservation ecologist
  • CEO of the company
  • Town mayor who supports the development
  • Residents of the town who lives next to the wetlands

Students make sure to:

  1. Justify your arguments with credible information.
  2. Present your arguments in a clear and convincing manner.

Suggest students review ways in which human activities can affect the environment, tell students they need to search online to find evidence to support their view. Encourage students to talk to their classmates with the same role about evidence and arguments that could be persuasive in the debate. Suggest students make lists of evidence and arguments supporting the role they have taken.

  Formative assessments

  1. A reflection about the role they have chosen or been assigned to see if they have an understanding of what are they supposed to do in the project.
  2. We can give the students one piece of paper for them to write down at least 5 arguments or evidence they found for the debate to see if students are really doing research about the development debate.
  3. A quiz about ecology vocabularies especially about sustainable development to see if they are looking at the issue in a scientific manner.


  1. Miller, Kenneth R, and Joseph S Levine. Biology. 1st ed. Boston, MA.: Pearson, 2016. Print.

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