ALEX Lesson Plan


Dance Moms Reality or Fatality

You may save this lesson plan to your hard drive as an html file by selecting "File", then "Save As" from your browser's pull down menu. The file name extension must be .html.

  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Janie Mohajerin
System: Montgomery County
School: Georgia Washington Middle School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33225


Dance Moms Reality or Fatality


Students will view a reality television episode and read a news article related to reality television. Then students will complete a graphic organizer to create an argument for or against children participating in reality television. Students will apply supportive details for writing a persuasive paragraph.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
ELA2015 (7)
1. Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RL.7.1]
ELA2015 (7)
6. Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text. [RL.7.6]
ELA2015 (7)
10. Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RI.7.1]
ELA2015 (7)
15. Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others. [RI.7.6]
ELA2015 (7)
17. Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims. [RI.7.8]
ELA2015 (7)
20. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. [W.7.1]
a. Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically. [W.7.1a]
b. Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text. [W.7.1b]
c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence. [W.7.1c]
d. Establish and maintain a formal style. [W.7.1d]
e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. [W.7.1e]
ELA2015 (7)
23. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 20-22 above.) [W.7.4]
ELA2015 (7)
25. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources. [W.7.6]
ELA2015 (7)
28. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. [W.7.9]
a. Apply Grade 7 Reading standards to literature (e.g., "Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history"). [W.7.9a]
b. Apply Grade 7 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g. "Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims"). [W.7.9b]
ELA2015 (7)
31. Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study. [SL.7.2]
ELA2015 (7)
33. Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation. [SL.7.4]
ELA2015 (7)
34. Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points. [SL.7.5]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will develop an argument for both pro and con.

Students will recognize the stance of an argument.

Students will recognize elements of persuasion.  

Students will write a persuasive paragraph.

Students will cite specific examples to support an argument.

Students will apply appropriate supportive details when writing a persuasive paragraph.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:


Graphic Organizer (see attached)

Technology Resources Needed:


Prepare video and Internet connection

Prepare students for persuasive writing by reviewing persuasive writing components.

Prepare students for basic paragraph structure and writing.


Step One

Graphic Organizer: (see attachment)

  1. Review the directions for the graphic with students.

Show an episode of Dance Moms:

**Note: these episodes are approximately 45 minutes long. The students will not need to view the entire episode to complete the assignment.

  1. Discuss supporting details of "YES" for reality television and "NO" against reality television.
  2. Have students write five items for "YES" and five items for "NO."

Step Two

Persuasive Model

  1. Show the newscast:
  2. What persuasive stance is this news cast choosing?
    1. What examples let you know their stance?
    2. What supporting details support the argument?
    3. Is this appropriate for news?

Step Three

Writing a persuasive paragraph

  1. Instruct students to choose a stance for reality television when concerning children.
  2. Instruct the students to use the graphic organizer they completed while watching the Dance Moms episode to provide three references and supporting details of evidence for their stance.
  3. Allow students to share their responses with the class.


**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

Assessment Strategies

Video viewing

Graphic organizer (see attached)


Have students use the Internet to research different reality television shows and compare and contrast the degrees of exposure. Have students write an essay to persuade for or against reality television.


Discuss the supporting details as a whole group. Then write the persuasive paragraph as a whole group to model how the supporting details are used to support the argument.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.