Mr. Francis’s Debate & Writing Projects
Mr. Francis is a teacher who specializes in politics and philosophy and has degrees from the University of Oxford and the University of London in the UK. He plays soccer and trombone. More pastimes include reading, writing, and learning French, Russian, and Cantonese.
M.A in Religion in Global Politics, Univ. of London
B.A. in Philosophy, Politics & Economics; Law Moderations, Univ. of Oxford
Project 1: Writing on Cultural Debates - Challenge or Advocate
Project Goal: Students will watch five pre-recorded fun and educational review videos by Mr. Francis who has studied and taught students in the U.K and Europe. He will introduce his interesting review story about an artifact, a person, an event, a place, or a problem/solution in each episode. Each video episode will be exploring a part of European history, culture, and philosophy and more. The students will be receiving a writing prompt per video and asked to submit their completed writings on time. Francis will review them and send his personalized feedback to individual students by email.
Grades 6 and up in fall 2021
- There will be five episodes for you to watch and write about.
- This project is asynchronous learning, so we don't meet in a live classroom but you should submit your writing assignments on time to receive the teacher's feedback.
- Mr. Francis will be sending feedback in 3 days after the student submits his or her writing per episode.
- Questabox admin will ask you about your episode schedule preference later through a confirmation/follow-up email once you sign up.
- [Optional] You can sign up for a live chat with Mr. Francis after completing the whole package (additional fee, please contact the admin, email@example.com)
-- Five video episodes
-- Reading resources related to each episode
-- Writing prompt per episode
-- Teacher's (written & audio) feedback on each of your writing
-- 15-min live chat with a teacher (optional, additional fee, $35)
Total 5 Episodes & Focus:
- [Episode 1] Food in the Multicultural World – What’s the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation?
- [Episode 2] Art in Europe – Does art need to be realistic? What constitutes ‘good art’?
- [Episode 3] Creative Genius – How can we quantify and describe creativity? What makes people love the work of Shakespeare, The Beatles, and Banksy?
- [Episode 4] Architecture – What are some of the purposes of architecture – to impress, to impose, to imprison? How have architects throughout history responded to these challenges?
- [Episode 5] Inventions – What is the greatest invention in human history? Discuss various candidates (penicillin, electricity, the internet, the combustion engine, etc).
Starting: (Asynchronous, Online); you can choose and start any day you would like to begin.
-- If you purchase all 5 episodes, you can work on your pace. It's strongly recommended that you submit one completed writing assignment per week.
-- If you purchase an individual episode, you will be asked to submit your writing assignment within one week. If not, please submit it within 2 weeks once you start the episode.
-- If you don't submit your writing assignments, you won't get the teacher's feedback (This program expires in 6 weeks once you start it unless you notify us of any planned break) and no refund or make-up for that.
How It Works:
- Watch each video (episode) & read the reading materials
- Submit your writing assignment
- Get the teacher's feedback (for each writing)
- Watch the next video and repeat the cycle
- Work on their own schedule and finish the whole package within 4-5 weeks
- You can have a live meeting with Mr. Francis (additional fee).
- One Review/Debate Writing from Each Episode
- Short Video Introduction / Self-Introduction Writing
- Creative Memoir Writing
- After signing up for the project, your will be receiving a confirmation email.
- Absence & Make-up Policy: This project is not a live session. It will consist of watching each video, completing a writing piece on each prompt, and getting the teacher's feedback. No make up for the absent online classes.
- Cancellation & Refund Policy:
- No REFUND for the cancellation for any reasons once the student receives the material.
Project 2. English Court Workshop
Target: Grades 6 to 12
Class: Group registration (class size to open: min 4 students)
Workshop Goal: An online workshop in which students are challenged to develop their critical thinking, communication and comprehension skills through classical literature + law education + debate + social studies. One of the workshops uses Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short story The Tell-Tale Heart as ‘evidence’, (or other stories from Shakespear's) and we put the main character on trial. Each month will select a different case.
Students are divided into two teams, one preparing the arguments for the prosecution and the other tasked with the defence. We will loosely follow the English legal process, using simplified definitions of the crime of murder and the defence of insanity as the basis on which to argue the case. Each team will prepare a written ‘skeleton argument’, outlining their arguments for the case. We will then proceed to ‘oral advocacy’, in which members from each team will get the chance to question the accused and various witnesses. Finally, we will take a vote on whether the accused is to be found guilty or not guilty.
The session will be an engaging and interactive way to practice written and oral debating skills, as well as their ability to develop arguments under pressure. They will have to display good teamwork, as well as taking individual responsibility e.g. in cross-examining a witness. In addition, the use of the short story will test their close reading and interpretation skills.
Suitable for grades 6–12 (Grades 6-9, Grades 9-12) Students who are interested in critical thinking classes, debate clubs, or future law school, this workshop would be fascinating and resourceful. Grade 5 may join but need a parent's guidance before sign-up.
Parental guidance: this workshop involves discussion of murder and insanity within a literary and legal context.
- No Make-up and No Refund for the absence in a group class
- If you cancel your class 24 hours before the workshop begins, you will get a full refund. If you cancel your class within 24 hours before the workshop begins, you will receive a credit. You can use the credit for the future class.