Would You Ban Texting and Walking?

Should texting while walking be against the law?

By Kristin Lewis
From the May / June 2018 Issue
Lexile: 800L-900L, 600L-700L
Guided Reading Level: S
DRA Level: 40
Topic: Social Issues,
Activities (2)
Quizzes (2)
Quizzes (2)
Answer Key (2)
Answer Key (2)
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Quizzes (2)
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More About the Story


main ideas and supporting evidence, opinion writing

Complexity Factors


The debate explains how one city passed a law against crossing the street while looking at a phone, and then presents arguments for and against such a law.


The debate begins by describing a scenario from the second-person point of view, and then it shifts to an informational structure. Reasons for and against a ban on texting and walking are woven throughout the text.


The debate includes a few challenging words, such as engineers and urge, as well as the new/created word hearted. It also contains an example of onomatopoeia and a rhetorical question.

Knowledge Demands 

The text refers to Honolulu, Hawaii, and London, England.

Step-by-Step Lesson Plan

1. Preparing to Read

Have students preview the text features. Ask:

  • What is the topic of the debate? (Prompt students to use the debate title and the heading on the chart as clues.)
  • What do you think are the two sides of the issue?

2. Reading the Debate 

Read the debate as a class or in small groups.

Have students read the debate a second time. Prompt them to mark the types of support the author presents to back up each side, including:

  • Facts and statistics (F/S)
  • Quotes from experts (Q)
  • Stories or examples (EX)

3. Discussing

As a class or in groups, have students discuss:

  • Which evidence is most effective in supporting each side?
  • Is one side stronger than the other? Why?
  • What is your opinion? What evidence do you find the most convincing?
  • For more-advanced students: Do you think the author has a preferred point of view on this issue? What is your evidence?

4. Writing

Have students complete the chart in the magazine.

Distribute the activity “Write an Opinion Essay.” The lower-level version guides students to write a three-paragraph essay on the debate topic. The higher-level version prompts them to bring in additional evidence and write six paragraphs, including a rebuttal of the other side. With either version, hand out our Opinion Writing Toolkit, which offers writing tips and transition words.