Lesson 8 - Opinion Writing - 2 Days


Explain the pros and cons surrounding the use of hydroelectric dams.

Readings and Materials

  • Book: Energy Sources: The Pros and Cons by David L. Dreier  pp. 10 – 13

Subscribe to Fishtank Plus to unlock access to additional resources for this lesson, including:

  • Enhanced Lesson Plan
  • Essential Task Guide
  • Student Handout Editor
  • Vocabulary Package


Target Task


Multiple Choice

What is a reason for the decrease in the number of salmon in the Pacific Northwest?

Create a free account or sign in to view multiple choice options

Which section of the text best supports the answer to Part A?

Create a free account or sign in to view multiple choice options

Writing Prompt

What are the pros and cons surrounding the use of hydroelectric dams? What reasons and evidence does the author include?

Mastery Response


Create a free account or sign in to view Mastery Response

Key Questions


  • How is hydroelectric power created? (Push students to retell all of the steps and cause-effect/sequences involved in the creation of hydroelectric power.)
  • Why does the author include the diagram on page 11? What additional information can be learned from the diagram?
  • According to the author, what are the pros of hydroelectric dams?
  • According to the author, what are the cons of hydroelectric dams?
  • Are hydroelectric dams a renewable resource? Explain why or why not.



dam     (n.)

a structure built across a river or stream to prevent water flow

Enhanced lesson plan

Enhanced Lesson Plan

Get recommendations on pacing and lesson structure, as well as suggestions for meeting the needs of a range of learners. Download Sample

Common Core Standards

  • RI.4.3 — Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

  • RI.4.8 — Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.

  • SL.4.1 — Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

  • SL.4.4 — Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

  • W.4.1 — Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information

  • W.4.1.a — Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer's purpose.

  • W.4.1.b — Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.

  • W.4.1.c — Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition).

  • W.4.9 — Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Spiral Standards