|Linking Thesis Statements to Supporting Evidence – Overview|
|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.
|Choose any micro site topic from ProCon.org and print out the full list of pro and con statements (one set for each student). Cut each statement into two pieces: the bolded thesis statement and its supporting evidence. Shuffle all the pieces until they are well mixed.
Give each student a set and ask them to match each thesis statement with the evidence statement that best supports it. To take full advantage of the kinesthetic nature of the activity, make sure students have plenty of space to lay out the statements and move everything around.
When completed, ask students to explain their choices. Wrap up by having students check their answers against the ProCon.org site and explain any discrepancies (i.e., why their reasoning was faulty).
ProCon.org Topics: Drinking Age, Death Penalty, Drones, or other controversial issues listed here.
Subjects: English / ELA / Language Arts, Social Studies, Public Policy, Communication
Common Core Anchor Standards: CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.8, CCRA.SL.1
Common Core Content Standards: RI.5, RI.8, W.9, SL.4, L.4, L.6, RH.6
Make the lesson easier
- Ask students to complete this task in mixed-ability pairs.
- Provide tape for students to finalize their pairings.
- Color code each piece as a pro or con so students can divide their pieces into categories before beginning the activity.
Make the lesson harder
- Leave 3-4 pieces out of the set, asking students to identify which pieces are missing and how they know.
- Unbold the thesis statements before printing, causing students to further distinguish between the assertions and the evidence provided.