Deductive Reasoning Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Teach your students about deductive reasoning with the help of this lesson plan. Students will watch a video lesson that defines and explains deductive reasoning, discuss and interact with content, then apply to a real-life situation. Finish with a quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define deductive reasoning
  • explain the process of deductive reasoning
  • apply concepts of deductive reasoning to an activity


1 - 1.5 hours


  • Chart paper

Key Vocabulary

  • Deductive reasoning
  • Premise
  • Conditional reasoning
  • Syllogisms
  • Valid

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.3

Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.

Warm-Up and Preparation

  • Begin by telling students this (or another one of your choosing) story:
    • I was saving the last brownie to have after school yesterday but when I got home, it was gone. I noticed my son had brown fingerprint smudges on his homework, so I punished him by taking away his tablet for the night. Do you think this was right?'
  • Allow students to talk in small groups about the scenario, deciding if your analysis was valid.
  • Come together and share ideas as a group. Prompt students to debate the validity of your deduction, applying reasonable arguments such as the tangible evidence (fingerprints) and unknowns (other family members or the possibility that the brownie was moved, not eaten, for example).
  • Tell students that they're using a process called deductive reasoning. Label the board with this term.


  • Start the lesson video Deductive Reasoning: Examples & Definition and pause at 0:42.
  • Define vocabulary terms and ask:
    • What premises did we have in our example?
  • Resume the video lesson and pause again at 2:38.
  • Define 'syllogisms' and ask students to identify the A, B, and C in your example.
  • Share answers, then determine if the argument was valid.
  • Now call three students to the front of the room. Choose one with a specific characteristic that the others do not have, and begin giving clues to help students deductively reason. For example, you could say 'The person I'm thinking of is a female,' and all male students are eliminated. Use hair color, height, etc. as clues.
  • Have groups record your clues as you give them and use them in a syllogism to give the answer when they have it.
  • Repeat this exercise as necessary to ensure understanding, then restart the lesson.
  • Pause at 3:50 and define 'conditional reasoning.'
  • Divide students into partners or allow them to work independently, if desired.
  • Give each a topic, such as games, cats, electronic devices, etc.
  • Instruct students to create a scenario to fit all four types of conditional reasoning.
  • When finished, have groups share with the class and allow others to contribute to the process.
  • Play the remainder of the lesson and take the quiz to check understanding.

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