Zeus Marks 10th Year of Debates at JFK

Zeus Marks 10th Year of Debates at JFK photo

For the 10th consecutive year, sixth-graders in Monica Klein’s social studies classes at John F. Kennedy Middle School held debates to see which god, goddess or hero would become the new ruler of Olympus when Zeus – played by Klein’s father, Ben Morselli – retires from the throne.

Each student dressed the part of their mythological figure and delivered a persuasive speech on why they deserved the royal position and the distinctive characteristics that qualified them. The students also engaged in a debate with one another to question their competitors’ eligibility. Based on this rhetoric, Zeus determined the next ruler.

This unique activity, a tradition in the Bethpage School District, reinforces the sixth-grade curriculum on ancient Greece while developing students’ oral presentation skills and persuasive writing techniques.