Educational Resources Lets Talk Science Challenge participants

Pros and Cons list (arthobbit, iStockphoto)

Pros and Cons list

What Is It?

This is a decision-making tool where students organize information acquired from reading text, listening or viewing resources and interpret the information to determine the positive (pros) or negative (cons) aspects of an issue. The organized evidence is then used to make decisions.

Why use it?

  • To process and filter information from an article, oral presentation or video
  • To help students learn to organize information that is related to an issue
  • To provide a structure to help students analyse features and/or options related to an issue
  • To help students think critically about an issue to help formulate personal opinions and decisions

Tips for success

  • Prior to having students work on a Pros & Cons Organizer, you may wish to model the process with the class on an overhead or interactive white board.
  • Introduce students to the Pros & Cons Organizer with a topic, issue or event they can relate to, such as the pros and cons of taking Driver’s Education.

How do I use it?

  • Chose an article for students to read or a video to view that presents opposing, or positive (pros) and negative (cons) perspectives about an issue or topic.
  • You may wish to have the students analyse the pros & cons of a topic from different perspectives or points of view depending on the topic, such as:
    • Personal or class perspective
    • Socioeconomic group perspective
    • Regional, provincial, national or global perspectives
  • Provide students with a Pros & Cons Organizer reproducible to complete.
Pros & Cons Organizer Reproducible Template
Pros & Cons Organizer Reproducible Template
  • A Pros & Cons Organizer may be done as an individual activity, a pair and share activity or group activity.

Variations

  • Once completed Pros & Cons Organizers can be used in different ways:
    • Students pair up and share their organizer with a partner.
    • Have a class discussion about the various pros and cons students have determined and summarize the students’ ideas.

Extensions

  • Students could prepare a written or oral argument presenting their reasons for defending or supporting their position on a topic, issue, etc., based on their developed Pros & Cons Organizers (e.g., why they support or oppose the genetic engineering of food crops).

 

Using this Strategy

Create Your Own

Pros & Cons Organizer [Google doc] [PDF]

Create Your Own

Pros & Cons Organizer [Google doc] [PDF]

Ready to Use
Ready to Use

References

Toronto District School Board. (2004). Instructional strategies for making connections in science (grades 9-12), (pp. 101). Toronto District School Board.

Liberty Learning Commons. (n.d.). Organizing ideas - Making judgements: Pros & cons. Waterloo Regional District School Board.

Worksheet Library. (n.d.). Decision tree graphic organizer worksheets.