Counter-Argument Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan will help you teach your students about persuading others using counterargument. Students will learn what a counterargument is and how to use it effectively.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson students will be able to:

  • Describe the reasons why counterargument is effective.
  • Create a counterargument to use in debate.


This lesson will take approximately 45-90 minutes.

Curriculum Standards


Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.


Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.


Activate prior knowledge by asking students to think about a time when they believed something strongly, but someone else disagreed with them. Have students turn and talk to a partner about the disagreement and how it was settled.

Read the lesson Counter-Argument Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples as a class.

Pause after reading the What is a Counter-Argument? and Reasons to Use a Counter-Argument sections. Ask students the following questions:

  • What is a counterargument?
  • Why do counterarguments work?

Continue reading the remainder of the lesson. Discuss the important elements of a good counterargument.

Use the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.

Activity: Counterargument Practice

Materials needed

  • access to internet research
  • pencils
  • paper
  • prepared printed charts for students to mark their arguments and counterargument (Consider having the statements already listed on the paper and have columns labeled with 'Agree' on one side and 'Disagree' on the other with room to write their reasons.

Present students with one scenario at a time in which they might find themselves in a debate with another person. The following are some examples:

  • Video games are good for you.
  • All eight-year-olds should have a cell phone.
  • Students should be paid for making good grades.
  • Teachers should assign homework.
  • Aliens exist and have visited Earth.
  • Dogs should be allowed in restaurants.
  • Plastic straws should be banned.
  • Dogs are the best pets.
  • Zoos should be banned.

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