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Adaptable Activities

Page history last edited by Rachel Wetts 5 years, 4 months ago

Interactive Activities

  • Debates: Describes general guidelines for using debates effectively.  Includes examples of debates structured around competing theories or normative evaluation of a social issue.
    • GSIs: Gretchen Purser, Cinzia Solari, and anonymous contributors to the Grad Wiki
    • Debates.docx 
  • Drawing activities: Students love drawing activities!  Describes four different variations of drawing activities.  GSIs particularly recommend drawing activities for teaching social theory (e.g., commodity fetishism, The Civilizing Process, The Protestant Ethic…), but a drawing activity is great any time you’re teaching a complex concept or a historical process.
  • Student-designed multiple choice quiz: Activity where students work in groups to design multiple choice questions for a “quiz” that will be administered to students in the other section.  Helps students identify central points of a text and distinguish between correct and close-but-incorrect interpretations of a text.
  • Word puzzles and games: Links to sites where you can create crossword puzzles, word searches, or Bingo cards.  Word puzzles and games are particularly useful for Soc 5, statistics, or other classes where students have to become fluent with well-defined and relatively concrete concepts. 



  • Empirical Puzzle worksheet: Useful worksheet to help students work through any sociological text that is proposing an explanation for an empirical puzzle.
  • Overthrown theory worksheet: Useful worksheet to use when a text proposes a new theory by first rejecting an old one (or a commonsense assumption).  Worksheet is particularly suited for theory courses, but also widely applicable.
  • Empirical Puzzle chart: Using material from the “Overthrown Theory” and “Puzzle” worksheets, this worksheet helps students organize in graphical form 1) the empirical puzzle a text is trying to solve, 2) the rejected explanations for this phenomenon, 3) the new theory that the author proposes, and 4) the evidence that he/she leverages.  Originally created to discuss the first section of The Protestant Ethic, but can be adapted to help students analyze a number of texts.


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