A Structured Academic Controversy is a strategy that requires students to retrieve evidence from text, engage in perspective taking, and build consensus through listening and restating. Full directions and graphic organizers can be downloaded here.

Below are some of the texts I use. Other great ideas can be found at

Is bottled water a better choice than tap water?

CNN Video on bottled water

Ban bottled water text with task for bottled water

Bottled Water Association Text

Should schools allow classroom pets?

Pets enhance learning with graphic organizer

Leave animals out of the classroom article

Having a pet in the classroom

Should lunches from home be banned?

Home lunches: OK or Outrageous?

School lunches are healthier

Parents aren’t fans of banning lunches

Are Zoos good or bad?

Text with task


Lifespan of elephants chart

The Swazi Eleven