Read opposing viewpoints and take a side; evaluate the pros and cons involved in teens playing sports.


NHES 2: Analyze how the school, community, and culture can affect personal health practice and behaviors. 


CASEL: Social awareness





Lesson Plan: Are Sports Too Competitive?

Weigh the pros and cons of teens playing sports.

1. Preparing to Read

Before you read the debate “Are Sports Too Competitive?” ask your students the following pre-reading question: 

What are the pros and cons involved in teens playing sports? 

2. Reading and Discussing

  • Have your students read the debate, “Are Sports Too Competitive?” independently; read the article out loud to them; or have one student read one side of the debate and another student read the other side.
  • After they’ve read the debate, revisit the pre-reading question. Have their answers changed? Remind them to vote in the poll at the end of the story. 
  • Next, have your students answer the Close-Reading and Critical-Thinking questions, either working in small groups or independently. 

Close-Reading Questions
The following questions can be shared in printable or interactive form from the Resources tab. 

  1. Why is the increasing competitiveness of sports a problem, according to Elyn?
  2. In Gavin’s opinion, how can losing while playing sports be beneficial for teens? 

Critical-Thinking Questions

  1. Which sport is most competitive at your school? Explain your answer.
  2. Do you think highly competitive sports positively or negatively impact kids? Explain your answer.

3. Building Comprehension and Vocab

Check students’ comprehension of and engagement with the story with the following assessment tools:

  • Quiz

  • Vocab Builder

4. Expanding SEL Opportunities

Continue the learning journey with the following extension activity: 

In ROLE-PLAY DEBATE, students will work in pairs or small groups to read different scenarios related to sports in schools. After choosing one of the scenarios, they will stage a role-play in which different characters from that scenario debate the topic.

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