Are Trampolines Too Dangerous?

They seem like tons of fun, but a lot of kids get hurt on them.

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On Level

Featured Skill

Main Idea and Supporting Details

Key Skills

Opinion writing

Standards Correlations

This article and lesson support the following standards:

Common Core anchor standards: R.1, R.2, R.6, R.8, W.1, SL.1

TEKS: 3.14, 3.21

Teaching Materials

Activity Sheets

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Debate Template
Write an Opinion Essay

Lesson plan

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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 are the two opinions people might have about this topic?
  • Depending on the reading level of your students, read the debate as a class or break the class into groups.
  • Have students read the debate a second time. Prompt them to highlight evidence supporting each side as they come across it. Using two different colors of highlighters would be useful here.
  • As a class or in groups, have students discuss:
    • Which opinion has the best evidence to support it?
    • Is one side stronger than the other? Why?
    • What is your opinion? What evidence helped you form your opinion?
  • For more advanced readers: Do you think the author has an opinion on this issue? What is your evidence?
  • Have students complete the chart in the magazine or on our full-page printable chart.
  • Guide students to write an essay on the debate topic, using the chart they filled out.

Teaching Extras

Take a poll

You might kick off your lesson with a quick show of hands: Who’s been hurt on a trampoline? Who has a sibling or family member who’s been hurt? A friend or classmate?

Who invented the trampoline?

Your students might be surprised to find out who invented the trampoline—learn about George Nissen here.

Safety tips

While the goal certainly isn’t to make those students who have trampolines at home feel uncomfortable, they may benefit from these basic safety guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A physical debate approach

You can have your students stand on either side of the classroom depending on the opinion they support (and have the undecideds stay in the middle). They can move if they change or make up their minds. Or, for a more detailed and authentic debate, try these approaches specifically for elementary-school students.