Tip of the Week


Every week I'll post a new Social Studies tip, teaching strategy, or handy web site for you to try out with your kids. You can also receive the Tip of the Week via email by hitting the signup link directly to the left. We'll add you to our Tip of the Week mailing list and presto! Once a week in your inbox.

If you missed a few Tips or want to go back and review previous Tips, hand on over to the handy, dandy Tip Archive.


March 27: PEEL Graphic Organizer


We want them to be able to make an argument using evidence, logic, and reasoning. And we want them to be able to do this in a variety of ways. But it’s difficult to create any sort of argument without some sort of written version first. So having our kids write is always a good idea. The problem? Sometimes our students just need something simple to get them started.

I recently ran across a pretty basic graphic organizer that has apparently been around for a while but because I’ve been so busy with the whole Wichita State beating University of Kansas then losing to Notre Dame basketball thing, I somehow missed it. If you’ve heard of it, feel free to head back to your bracket. If it’s as new to you as it is to me, hang around.

Called PEEL, the organizer is an easy to use tool that provides your students with a structure to help them make sense of evidence and argument.

PEEL is an acronym for Point / Evidence / Explanation / Link:

Make your point. What  are you trying to prove? What is the main point of your thinking? What is the one thing you want the reader to know?

State your evidence. This could be from primary sources or other evidence – facts, quotes, statistics, etc. This is a great place to use Evidence-Based Terms.

Explain how your evidence supports your point. What do the facts mean? How do they support and make your point?

Make a connection back to the main point, to yourself or others, to other texts or evidence, or to other events or people.

I have seen a few PEEL organizers that include an S making PEELS:

What style of writing does the writer / author of your evidence use? What words did choose? What about voice? Who is their audience?


Don’t be afraid to let your kids flip the two Es around – sometimes it’s easier to explain and then insert the evidence. Get some free versions of the organizers and posters for your room from the Teaching Rocks folks:

Have fun!