English Language Arts, Composition and Rhetoric
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Cheating
  • Grade 11 ELA
  • Literary Devices
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Survey & Discussion On Cheating

    Survey & Discussion On Cheating


    In this lesson, students will take a survey on cheating and discuss it with the class. Then they will read and annotate “Stuyvesant Students Describe the How and the Why of Cheating,” noting the claims, counterclaims, reasons, and evidence in the article.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.

    How Big a Cheater Are You?

    • Remind the class that these surveys are confidential and should be answered honestly. During the discussion, they may share only what they feel comfortable sharing.
    • Discuss the results of the survey with the class. Ask your students what they noticed about their partner’s responses. Are there any conclusions we can draw from this survey?


    How big a cheater are you?

    • Take the survey, How Big a Cheater Are You?

    To the extent that you’re comfortable, discuss the results of the survey with a partner and then with the whole class.

    The How and the Why of Cheating

    • The purpose of this first reading is to build a text base, constituted by the ideas expressed by the author in the piece. The text base (the literal synopsis) is explicit in the text.
    • ELL: If possible, make sure that ELLs have access to a bilingual dictionary as well as monolingual dictionaries in English and their native language. Using good dictionaries is very important in building their knowledge of the language and in building their vocabulary.
    • Circulate throughout the room to see if students are having difficulty understanding the text. Offer help to any struggling readers.
    • Consider pairing up struggling students with students who seem to have a solid understanding of the text.
    • A sample annotation for “Stuyvesant Students Describe the How and the Why of Cheating” is available.
    • Give students 3 minutes to share with a partner before engaging in a Whole Group Discussion.

    Work Time

    Read the article, “Stuyvesant Students Describe the How and the Why of Cheating.” As you read, annotate and summarize for the following questions.

    • What claims or assertions does the article make about students cheating at Stuyvesant?
    • What reasons and evidence support the author’s claims?
    • What is the author’s tone and attitude toward the subject?

    Share your summaries and annotations with a partner and help each other clarify what is confusing or difficult.

    Claims and Evidence

    • Facilitate a discussion about the article “Stuyvesant Students Describe the How and the Why of Cheating.”
    • Call on several students to share their work.
    • As students discuss their responses to the article, take notes and display the claims, counterclaims, reasons, and evidence that they noted. Create a chart to record their ideas.
    • Use the following questions to ask the class how they would characterize the tone of the essay.
      • ✓ Does the writer display a bias?
      • ✓ Is the piece straightforward reporting, or do you sense some judgments or sarcasm? If judgments or sarcasm, what words does the writer use to indicate tone?
    • Point students to specific places in the article where the author uses precise words, phrases, and transitions to organize the information or to create a cohesive and logical argument.

    Work Time

    Share and respond to your classmates’ ideas.

    Take notes about the claims, counterclaims, reasons, and evidence that your classmates noted in the article. Create a Claims and Evidence chart and use to organize your ideas.

    • What do you notice about the organization of the article? How does the author organize the information?
    • What are the claims the writer makes? How does she support these claims?
    • What does the author say about widespread cheating at Stuyvesant?
    • What does the author say about teachers’ sympathy for students?
    • What does the author say about cheating increasing in upper grades?
    • What other claims does she make?

    Reflection About Cheating

    • Give students 3–5 minutes to write this reflection. SWD: Provide students with a checklist or task sheet to help them stay on track during this reflection and to support their comprehension of all aspects of the questions.

    Work Time

    Write a reflection and submit it to your teacher.

    • What are your responses and ideas to the article about cheating at Stuyvesant High School?
    • Does the kind of cheating there surprise you?
    • Is it so different from your school? How?

    Open Notebook

    Claims About Cheating

    • As students submit their claims, choose one or two that are arguable and would work well in an argument essay.
    • Use one of these claims in the discussion that follows.

    Work Time

    Consider what you’ve learned and discussed about cheating.

    • Write one or two arguable claims about cheating in school and whether or not it is justified.

    Open Notebook

    Submit them to your teacher.

    Claims About Cheating

    • Facilitate a discussion about cheating.
    • ELL: Encourage ELLs to participate as actively as their native counterparts, even if their pace might be slower or if they are more reluctant to volunteer due to their weaker command of the language.
    • Choose one claim for the class to work on. Display it so that all students can see it.
    • Work with the class to find relevant evidence to support the claim, counterclaims, and responses (rebuttals) to the counterclaims.


    Discuss your claims about cheating with your classmates.

    • Begin by sharing your ideas about cheating in high schools.
    • Share the claims you have written and talk about how well you would be able to defend your claims.
    • Join your teacher and the class in finding one or two pieces of relevant evidence to support one claim.

    Body Image

    • Instruct students to read and annotate the two pieces about altering images in magazines for the next lesson. They will submit their annotations to you at the beginning of class. SWD: Consider modeling different ways to annotate the text (highlighting, underlining, color coding different types of information) to allow students multiple ways to demonstrate their understanding of the task.


    Read and annotate two pieces about altering images in magazines.

    • “Don’t Alter Models’ Bodies”
    • “Is Photoshop Destroying America’s Body Image?” by Vivian Diller, PhD

    For both pieces, identify the claims the writer makes, the reasons and evidence used to support the claims, and any counterarguments mentioned in the writing.