Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Critical Reasoning Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Critical Reasoning, and supports the standard of supporting claims with relevant evidence using credible sources. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students: 

  • What makes an argument persuasive? 

Step 2: BUILD KNOWLEDGE

  • Read aloud the description on the Critical Reasoning topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the following Related Reading articles: “In Depth” or “Language.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Students take the  Critical Reasoning Challenge and Quiz, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Step 4: DEEPEN and EXTEND

Students express what they learned about critical reasoning while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a commercial that answers these questions about the product you’re selling: Why should you buy this product over its competitors? What evidence do you have to support your claim?
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying a claim about a topic. Defend your claim with three pieces of relevant evidence. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a conversation where a character provides three pieces of evidence supporting a claim.

More to Explore: 

Argument Wars: Challenge players to analyze the kinds of support used to argue a constitutional rights case in this interactive game. 

Teacher Support Resources:

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