Does the influence of interest groups harm or help our political system? Interest groups have recently unleashed the power of massive budgets for political ads, and most people can’t keep up with all of the messages. In Drafting Board: Interest Groups, students must take a stand on whether interest groups generally inform or mislead voters about important issues. With increasing political influence, this issue frames an important contemporary debate, and your students will examine reasons and evidence on both sides, ultimately crafting an effective argument for the side they choose. Drafting Board is an online essay-building platform that guides students through the process of producing clear and polished persuasive essays. Using this interactive, students will learn to make a claim and support it with evidence and reasoning in order to produce a structured and effective argument. This activity may take more than a full class period, so we encourage educators to preview it fully before assigning to students.
In this lesson plan which is adaptable for grades 5-12, students use BrainPOP resources (including an online game) to explore the process of producing clear and polished opinion essays. Students will use arguments presented in a variety of resource documents to help them form an opinion on a controversial civics issue. They will then use an online essay-building platform to make their claim and support it with evidence and reasoning in order to produce a structured and effective argument. This lesson plan is aligned to Common Core State Standards. See more »