Summarizing Pro/Con Videos

Have students work in groups to find a persuasive speech online, use a graphic organizer to analyze the speaker’s claims, and write a summary in five sentences or less.

Anchor(s)

S&L3: Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.

Level(s):

Estimated timeframe:

Activity steps

  1. Select one or more short, persuasive videos such as an excerpt from a historic speech or political debate or a pro/con video (You may want to assign different videos to different groups.) Resources:
  2. Have students work in groups to navigate to the video link, watch it, and complete opens in a new window the graphic organizer What-Why-How chart, filling in the speaker’s claims and evidence. Tell groups that they should be prepared to discuss the best-supported and least-supported claims made by the speaker. Monitor groups to ensure students are on task and including specific details on the chart and to answer any questions.
  3. Have groups write a summary of their video using five or fewer sentences. They can use their graphic organizers and the opens in a new window Objective Summary Checklist as guides. (Alternately, have groups exchange their summaries and ask the other group to evaluate how well the summary fulfills the Checklist.) As a challenge, have groups condense their paragraph-length summary into a one-sentence summary.
  4. Briefly debrief as a whole class, discussing students’ analysis of the evidence and the strategies they used to analyze and summarize the video.
  5. Extensions:
    • Have students read and analyze editorials, newspaper articles, or other texts on the same topic.
    • Hold a formal class debate in which students use evidence to support their own opinions on the issue.

Workforce readiness skills

opens in a new window What – Why – How Chart
opens in a new window External Resources
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