Lesson Plan Ideas with Common Core Correlations




We offer these lesson plan ideas to help teachers cover important skills in English/Language Arts and Social Studies. Each SKILLS-BASED IDEA and CONTENT-BASED IDEA suggests specific ProCon.org topics and resources that are particularly well-matched to the lesson and designed to help you meet multiple curriculum goals.

Our lesson plan ideas were developed in partnership with Dr. Faith Rogow, award-winning curriculum developer (www.InsightersEducation.com) and co-founder of the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE). All standards referenced are taken from the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSS) English Language Arts-Literacy Section (www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy).

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SKILLS-BASED IDEAS
Addressing the Counterarguments
Use ProCon.org to help students strengthen their persuasive writing by identifying and responding to counterarguments.

Grades: 8-10 More>>
Call to Action Letter
Have students write a "call to action" letter about an issue that includes their positions on the issue, why individuals should act, and at least three things they should do to help the cause.

Grades: 6-12 More>>
Critical Thinking Quotes
Engage students in a metacognition exercise about critical thinking and also practice research and informational writing skills using ProCon.org's collection of critical thinking quotes.

Grades: 9-12 More>>
Distinguishing Fact from Opinion
Use the point-by-point arguments on ProCon.org to help students develop higher order thinking skills by learning to distinguish fact from opinion.

Grades: 6-9 More>>
Giving a Floor Speech
Students will use a ProCon.org topic of their choice to prep for a mock speech to Congress.

Grades: 5-10 More>>
Hunting for the Main Idea(s)
Use ProCon.org headline articles to help students learn how to effectively highlight their assigned readings by practicing how to distill main ideas from an informational text.

Grades: 7-10 More>>
Implicit vs. Explicit Statements
Use the Background section from a ProCon.org issue to practice identifying main ideas in informational text, and distinguish between explicit and implicit statements.

Grades: 5-10 More>>
Judging the Arguments in a Debate
Use a ProCon.org micro site to help students evaluate debate claims and examine their own reasoning.

Grades: 7-10 More>>
Linking Thesis Statements to Supporting Evidence
Use thesis statements from ProCon.org to help students get a better feel for what a thesis statement is and how it relates to the paragraph that follows it.

Grades: 6-10 More>>
Main Ideas of Visual Resources
Use charts and graphs on ProCon.org to engage students in a visual literacy exercise.

Grades: 6-8 More>>
Primary Source Analysis
Use one of the primary sources available at ProCon.org to help students practice their analysis of higher level primary sources.

Grades: 8-12 More>>
Project Citizen: Transforming Research into Action
Use ProCon.org as a research platform to kick off a long-term class project on an issue relevant to the community.

Grades: 6-12 More>>
Recognizing Cause and Effect
Use ProCon.org videos to practice listening skills, note-taking, and identifying links between cause and effect(s) in persuasive speech.

Grades: 6-8 More>>
Research Speed Skill Builder
Use the ProCon.org homepage to help students build research skills such as skimming and summarizing.

Grades: 9-12 More>>
Rhetorical Analysis
Students analyze a ProCon.org micro site, looking specifically for the use of rhetorical devices.

Grades: 9-12 More>>
Using Tweets to Build an Online Debate
As a way to assess understanding of both pro and con arguments about an issue, and also to practice clear, concise writing, have students create a fictional Twitter debate, tweeting from pro, con, and neutral perspectives.

Grades: 8-12 More>>
Writing for a Target Audience
Students take on the role of politician to identify stakeholders on a controversial policy issue and craft a series of statements that address each group.

Grades: 9-12 More>>
CONTENT-BASED IDEAS
Best of Enemies Film Discussion Guide
Watch the documentary Best of Enemies, or excerpts from this award-winning film, and then consider and discuss important questions about political conventions, pundits, television debate, and where our nation’s political discourse may have gotten its often nasty tone. [Note: This high-resolution PDF file is over 16 MB and may take a few seconds to load. A lower-resolution PDF file (13 MB) is also available.]

Grades: 11-12 More>>
Drug Ads Over Time: Analyzing Historical Images
Use ProCon.org's Gallery of Drug Ads to give students an opportunity to practice ad analysis and recognize how methods and messages have changed over time.

Grades: 5-10 More>>
Exploring Controversial Issues in Literature
To introduce a novel, use ProCon.org to help students build background knowledge and examine the novel’s controversial issue(s).

Grades: 5-10 More>>
Reagan's Presidency
For a unit on the 1980s, the electoral process, or the presidency, use ProCon.org's resources on President Ronald Reagan.

Grades: 5-10 More>>