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ProCon - Procon.org
Grades7 to 12
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Procon presents controversial issues in a non-partisan manner. Find current issues with balanced information to promote critical thinking without bias. Categories include Education,...more
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Procon presents controversial issues in a non-partisan manner. Find current issues with balanced information to promote critical thinking without bias. Categories include Education, Entertainment & Sports, Elections & Presidents, Science & Technology, and New Topics among others. Issues can include Abortion, Euthanasia, Climate Change, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Health Care Reform, Obesity, and the Death Penalty, just to name a few. Read the information on each issue in a Pro and Con format along with background information, and discussion questions. Some included video clips. Some topics are controversial, so adults using this site with young people may want to go directly to a single issue rather than having them browse openly.
tag(s): climate change (80), critical thinking (105), debate (38), difficult conversations (55), persuasive writing (55), politics (108)
In the ClassroomUsing controversial topics that have more than one side is a great way to develop critical thinking and problem solving. Find issues on this site that relate to your curriculum and use them as an entry point for a new unit. Use the teaching resources found on the top menu under the Teacher's Corner. Use this site to teach how to distinguish facts from opinions, using information to write essays or create speeches, or hold a class debate. You may want to facilitate student persuasive writing by using an outline such as Persuasion Map, reviewed here, to help them organize their thinking. Help students develop flexibility in their thinking by having them take part in a difficult conversation and argue a side they do NOT agree with. This will also help students think about how to refute a point the opposition will make. Focus on critical thinking with your students to develop skills needed for life. Use as a whole class activity or for individual students to find an issue of interest to them. Gifted students often think deeply on such issues at an early age and will find these topics of great interest. Use this site to guide a deliberate discussion or debate.
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