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Lesson Plan: Are Pro Athletes Overpaid?

A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom

LEARNING OBJECTIVE

Students will be able to identify and evaluate key points on both sides of a debate.

KEY STANDARDS

RH.6-8.2, RH.6-8.6, RH.6-8.8, RI.6-8.6, RI.6-8.8

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

• Use this article to teach students how to evaluate claims and evidence.
​• Incorporate this piece into a lesson on argument writing.

Before Reading

1. PREVIEW VOCABULARY
(5 MINUTES)

Pass out the skills sheet Words to Know—Are Pro Athletes Overpaid?. Students should refer to that skills sheet while they read the article.

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Read & Analyze

2. INDEPENDENT READING
(10 MINUTES)

Have students read the article on their own, writing down any comments or questions.

3. CLOSE-READING QUESTIONS
(10 MINUTES)

Have students write their answer to each question, or use these prompts to guide a discussion.

•EVALUATE: Why might these two authors be qualified to comment on this issue?
(Jesse Spector is a sportswriter and hosts a radio show about sports. Fred Bowen writes about sports for The Washington Post.)

• SUMMARIZE: What is each author’s main argument?
(Spector argues that pro athletes are paid too much. He says it doesn’t make sense for people who play a game for a living to make millions of dollars a year when people who save lives and educate kids make less than $75,000 per year. Bowen argues that the high salaries pro athletes earn are justified by the billions of dollars in revenue that pro sports generate. He believes that the athletes deserve their share, as they are the ones who attract the fans and, thus, the money.)

Extend & Assess

4. FEATURED SKILL: EVALUATING ARGUMENTS 
Have students complete the skills sheet Evaluating Arguments: What’s Your Opinion?. Go over the answers as a class.

DIFFERENTIATING

Lower Level Have students read the article in small groups, pausing after each section to verbally summarize it.

Higher Level Have students choose a side and come up with their own reasons and evidence to support it, then hold a class debate.

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