Teacher Review For ProCon.org

Great Resource for Teaching Counter-argument and Rebuttal

Victoria C.
Online Independent Study Teacher
Vista Visions Academy
Vista, CA
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My Grades 9, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Social Studies
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 4
Pedagogy 4
Support 3
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Homework
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
I've used this in my 11th grade English class as a way to teach argumentation, including counterarguments and rebuttals. By having students read about both sides of the issue (often in a point-counterpoint format), I can teach (and they can practice) how to weave a counterargument and rebuttal into their writing. There are enough topics that we can find one that most students are interested in, therefore increasing student buy-in. I also recommend students use this website when they write their controversial topic research paper. It is a good source to begin with because the articles are clear and easy to read.
My Take
I love the overview and extra resources that are included. After each side is presented, students can read other articles that give the history or background surrounding the issue and even watch videos that can extend their knowledge on the topic. I wish there was a wider variety of topics, although new topics are added frequently. For example, they have included resources relating to the Syrian refugee crisis and the 2016 election. Struggling readers may have problems accessing all of the information, but the videos can help with that.