< Back to Classroom - Designing Instruction

Pro and Con Grid

Pro and Con Grid

Props/Prep: Yes
Time: 15-20min
Audience: Any (groups)
Physical: No

The Pro and Con Grid will help develop a list of advantages and disadvantages of any issue and helps students develop analytical and evaluative skills. It also forces students to go beyond their initial reactions, search for at least two sides to the issue, and promotes critical thinking skills. This can be facilitated as an individual exercise or in groups.

This technique helps students develop analytical and evaluative skills, and encourages them to go beyond initial reactions to complex issues. It can be used in any discipline: students can evaluate the pros and cons of a procedure, technique, conclusion, action of a fictional character, political decision, etc.

Time requirements: 15-20 minutes

Materials needed: White board & white board markers


  • Divide students into small groups, if necessary.
  • Specify how many pros and cons you’d like each individual or group to develop.
  • Allow five to ten minutes for discussion or silent thought.
  • Ask for input: write pros on one side of the board and cons on the other side.
  • Combine pros and cons that are very similar, and count the number of times they recur to show their perceived importance.

Function in the class: Consider using the pros and cons as the basis for a debate. It can also be used for a discussion/lecture structured around the evaluation of course material. Another way to use this is as a ‘check for knowledge’ activity at the beginning of the class to find out what students already think about a topic – the good and the negative. You may be surprised at assumptions, misconceptions, or understanding.