Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

*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? 
  • Why might some evidence be more relevant to a claim than others? 

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • 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: ENGAGE
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? (Essential Literacy Skill: Draw evidence to support analysis)
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying a claim about a topic. Defend your claim with three pieces of relevant evidence. (Essential Literacy Skill: Draw evidence to support analysis)
  • Creative Coding: Code a conversation where a character provides three pieces of evidence supporting a claim. (Essential Literacy Skill: Acquire and use domain specific words and phrases)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

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

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Critical Reasoning Quiz

Step 5:  EXTEND LEARNING

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

Additional Support Resources:

 

 

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