Pros & Cons Organizer

Pros and Cons list

Pros and Cons list (arthobbit, iStockphoto)

Format

This strategy helps students develop decision-making skills as they determine the pros and cons of an issue.

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.