There has been a lot of talk lately about "fake news" and preparing our students to recognize it and be aware of it. In a word teaching "Media Literacy" - a subset of the larger "Digital Literacy". Our students have a hard time evaluating information.
I think this is a vital topic for every classroom and curriculum. We all need as teachers, to do our part.
Find all our Media Literacy related materials HERE. But here is one simple one that you can use instantly, no prep. I'm sure it will be revealing - Fact or Opinion?
1. Ask students some simple statements and get them to raise stand up for FACT or stay sitting if OPINION. Ex. Smoking causes cancer - FACT / Love is good - OPINION / America is a great country - OPINION / The moon is round - FACT
You'll be surprised at the results. Make up your own statements to suit your students.
Alternatively, quiz students with this Gif Lingua Book (or students can read/study it after the lesson).
2. Provide students with the discussion handouts. Partners read their statements and see if their partner is correct, taking turns.
3. Take up as a class, all the answers.
4. To end, ask students to make their own statements and ask the whole class, like #1.
The whole lesson isn't really about being correct. It's about getting students into the habit of questioning their automatic responses and beliefs about information.
Want to learn more about Digital Literacy? Gavin Dudeney has a nice presentation overview of the topic.
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