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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)
Activities (2) Download All Activities
Quizzes (2)
Quizzes (2)
Answer Key (2)
Answer Key (2)

More About the Story

Skills

main ideas and supporting evidence, opinion writing

Complexity Factors

Purpose

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.

Structure

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.

Language

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.