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You can always expect thoroughly researched pros, cons, and related information on today’s hottest topics at ProCon.org. Your tax-deductible donations keep this service free and ad-free for 25+ million students, teachers, journalists, and regular folks.
ProCon.org Feels Free, But It Isn't

You can always expect thoroughly researched pros, cons, and related information on today’s hottest topics at ProCon.org. Your tax-deductible donations keep this service free and ad-free for 25+ million students, teachers, journalists, and regular folks.

ProCon.org is needed now more than ever before. These are divisive times. Emotions are heightened. It’s harder to have respectful conversations and to find common ground. ProCon.org gives everyone an unbiased exploration of important issues to encourage understanding and critical thinking. We can all heal the increasing divide and ground conversations with facts. Millions use our site every year, but few give. We’re going to start changing that with your help. Thank you for making a donation today and for sharing ProCon.org with others.
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Lesson Plan Ideas




We offer these lesson plan ideas to help teachers cover important skills across many subjects. Some of our lesson plan ideas were developed in partnership with Dr. Faith Rogow, award-winning curriculum developer (InsightersEducation.com) and co-founder of the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE).

We’d love to hear what you think. Let us know how it goes in your classroom by taking our 2-minute educator survey.
Addressing the Counterarguments
Use ProCon.org to help students strengthen their persuasive writing by identifying and responding to counterarguments.

Grades: 8-10 More>>
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>>
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>>
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>>
Engage Peers outside the Classroom
Have students research issues and share what they learned with other students inside the school. Examples of ways to engage peers include: writing pro and con articles to be published side-by-side for the school newspaper; preparing public address announcements; creating pamphlets for on-campus distribution; and preparing a presentation for a school assembly.

NCTE/IRA 4, NCTE/IRA 5, NCTE/IRA 7, NCTE/IRA 12
Essay Writing
Have students write essays advocating a pro or con position on an important social issue.

NCTE/IRA 4, NCTE/IRA 5, NCTE/IRA 7, NCTE/IRA 12
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>>
Extemporaneous Speech
Have students give speeches espousing either a pro or con position on an important social issue. Students should have minutes to prepare.

NCTE/IRA 3, NCTE/IRA 4, NCTE/IRA 8, NCTE/IRA 11, NCTE/IRA 12
Find Your Weaknesses: Debate Analysis
Have student groups formulate pro or con arguments on an important issue using ProCon.org. Then have students present a written summary of their arguments and identify areas where the opposing group may find weaknesses in their arguments. Have students perform the debate.

NCTE/IRA 1, NCTE/IRA 3, NCTE/IRA 4, NCTE/IRA 6, NCTE/IRA 8, NCTE/IRA 11, NCTE/IRA 12, NSS-C.9-12.5
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>>
Group Discussion Web
Have students form small groups to decide their cumulative pro or con perspective on an issue. Then have a small group merge with another small group to form a larger group and cumulatively select their group's pro or con position. Repeat the process until the entire classroom has a single pro or con position.

NCTE/IRA 3, NCTE/IRA 4, NCTE/IRA 5, NCTE/IRA 6, NCTE/IRA 12
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>>
In This Writer's Opinion
Have students write editorials or letters to the editor to be submitted to local newspapers. Students choose a controversial topic from ProCon.org and conduct research on the website to get a range of relevant facts, opinions, and perspectives. The students then write their editorials or letters using persuasive arguments with effective reasoning and evidence while anticipating criticisms of their opinions.

NCTE/IRA 4, NCTE/IRA 5, NCTE/IRA 7, NCTE/IRA 12
Informal Debate with Devil's Advocate
Have an informal debate with students on an issue. The instructor will play devil's advocate by shifting from one side of the argument to the other. This may be an especially useful exercise if a significant majority of students share the same views on an issue, or if one side appears weaker. The instructor can serve as a model for good debate tactics.

NCTE/IRA 3, NCTE/IRA 4, NCTE/IRA 6, NCTE/IRA 8, NCTE/IRA 12
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>>
Online Discussion
Have students discuss an issue in an online message board. Encourage students to directly respond to each other's statements. The instructor should moderate the online discussion and help move along the debate.

NCTE/IRA 4, NCTE/IRA 5, NCTE/IRA 7, NCTE/IRA 12
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>>
Pro and Con Quote Analysis & Argument Creation
Assign, or have students select, one ProCon.org topic (the "dilemma") for examination. Individually or in small groups, students should then choose three pro quotes and three con quotes that represent the topic's main arguments from the ProCon.org site. For each quote, students should note the quote's source, determine two of the quote's main ideas, and rate the quote on a scale of 1 to 10 using the attached worksheet provided by W. Kip Morales, an English Teacher at Smidt Tech High School.

Once the students have analyzed the pro and con quotes from ProCon.org, each student or group should write their own opinion on the topic with evidence to support their claims, an analysis of the evidence (the "link"), a counterclaim to their argument, and, finally, a rebuttal to the counterclaim.

Mr. Morales uses this exercise with his 9th and 10th grade students, though the plan can be scaled for younger students.

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>>
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>>
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>>
Rehearsed Speech
Have students give a speech advocating a pro or con position on an important social issue. Students should have days to prepare.

NCTE/IRA 3, NCTE/IRA 4, NCTE/IRA 8, NCTE/IRA 11, NCTE/IRA 12
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>>