Download the .pdf version
What is a Pros & Cons Organizer?
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
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 BLM to complete.
- A Pros & Cons Organizer may be done as an individual activity, a pair and share activity or group activity.
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.
- 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.
- 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).
Toronto District School Board. (2004). Instructional Strategies for Making Connections in Science (Grades 9-12). Toronto, ON: Toronto District School Board, 101.
Waterloo Regional District School Board. Organizing Ideas - Making Judgements: Pros & Cons. (Accessed June 6, 2014).
Worksheet Library. Decision Tree Graphic Organizer Worksheets. (Accessed June 6, 2014)
Create-Your-Own Pros & Cons Organizers
- Pros & Cons Organizer Template [.doc] [.pdf]
Starting Points Using Pros & Cons Organizers
Ready-to-Use Pros & Cons Organizers
- Pros & Cons Organizer: Are e-cigs safer? [.doc] [.pdf]
- Pros & Cons Organizer: Electronic cigarettes: Healthy alternative or smoke and mirrors? [.doc] [.pdf]
- Pros & Cons Organizer: Food chains, food choices and the environment [.doc] [.pdf]
- Pros & Cons Organizer: Fukushima Three Years After [.doc] [.pdf]
- Pros & Cons Organizer: Hop to it! The science behind beer [.doc] [.pdf]
- Pros & Cons Organizer: LDSD: We Brake for Mars (Part 1) [.doc] [.pdf]
- Pros & Cons Organizer: Polystyrene - A great packaging material…almost too great? [.doc] [.pdf]
- Pros & Cons Organizer: Personalized Medicine [.doc] [.pdf]
- Pros & Cons Organizer: What are carbon offsets? [.doc] [.pdf]
- Pros & Cons Organizer: Should we let pandas go extinct? [.doc] [.pdf]