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Lessons in Critical Thinking

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A collaborative project of Peter Pappas and his ED 424 ~ Computers 
and Educational Technology - a spring ’17 pilot course at the University of Portland’s School of Education. Student-designed lessons include: “Dihydro-What?” by Kristen Turner, “Using TV Ads to Teach Persuasive Writing” by Jennifer Upchurch, “The Choice is Yours” by Eli McElroy and Tamalin Salisbury, “How to Read Between the Lines of Research” by Hannah O'Brien, “Do You Believe It To Be True Or False?” by Jeremy Jon Reyes Pingul and “Civically Sublime” by Kurt Anderson, Bekah Kolb, Ryan Greenberg

Our senior pre-service teachers developed engaging lessons which promoted critical thinking skills in their content areas using the edtech tools of their choice.

This book was developed using a project-based learning approach under the direction of nationally-recognized educator - Peter Pappas.

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Lessons in Critical Thinking

  1. 1. This eBook is a collaborative project of Peter Pappas and his ED 424 ~ Computers 
 and Educational Technology - a spring ’17 pilot course at the University of Portland’s School of Education ~ University of Portland, Portland Ore. During our discussion of digital literacy and “Fake News,” we realized that our middle and high school level students need more practice in the critical evaluation of information. So our edTechMethods class of senior pre-service teachers decided to develop engaging lessons which promoted critical thinking skills in their content areas using the edtech tools of their choice. Later they compiled the lessons in this ebook. For more on this class, visit our course blog edtechmethods.com Student-designed lessons include: 1. Dihydro-What? Science Lesson by Kristen Turner 2. Using TV Ads to Teach Persuasive Writing by Jennifer Upchurch 3. The Choice is Yours: integrating a “choose your own adventure” into math class by Eli McElroy and Tamalin Salisbury 4. How to Read Between the Lines of Research by Hannah O'Brien 5. Do You Believe It To Be True Or False? by Jeremy Jon Reyes Pingul 6. Civically Sublime by Kurt Anderson, Bekah Kolb, Ryan Greenberg LESSONS IN CRITICAL THINKING i
  2. 2. It’s time to redefine to the information flow in schools. Educators must realize that they cannot simply dispense information to students. They will lose the battle of competition for student attention span. Instead they must teach students how to effectively use the information that fills their lives – how to better access it, critically evaluate it, store it, analyze and share it. Students are adrift in a sea of text without context. As the barriers to content creation have dropped, old media (for all its flaws) has been replaced by pointless mashups, self-promoting pundits, and manufactured celebrity. The web may have given us access and convenience, but it’s an artificial world where rants draws more attention than thoughtful discussion. Responsible general interest media are being replaced by a balkanized web where civil discourse is rapidly becoming less civil. Schools can become thoughtfully-designed learning environments where students can investigate information and be given a chance to reflect (with their peers) on what they learned and how they see themselves progressing as learners. We hope that these lessons will help students develop skills to become more discriminating consumer of information. 
 ~ Peter Pappas, editor 
 School of Education ~ University of Portland Peter’s popular blog, Copy/Paste features downloads of his instructional resources, projects and publications. Follow him at Twitter @edteck. His other multi-touch eBooks are available at here. Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States (CC BY-NC 3.0 US)
 Peter Pappas and his students, 2017 The authors take copyright infringement seriously. If any copyright holder has been inadvertently or unintentionally overlooked, the publisher will be pleased to remove the said material from this book at the very first opportunity. Cover design by Peter Pappas using Adobe Spark ii
  3. 3. By Kristen Turner Introduction - Problems with Truth and Reliability in Science Several problems often occur in science – especially cutting-edge science - that make it difficult to confirm the truth of ideas.    DIHYDRO-WHAT? SCIENCE LESSON 1 3
  4. 4. First, a great deal of background knowledge is often required to even conduct research in a given scientific subject.  Those without specialized knowledge of the area must have some faith in the competency of the scientist to craft accurate and valid experiments and draw conclusions with common sense and awareness.     Another problem that arises is the psychological conundrum that people tend to be persuaded by emotion rather than logic.  Many biased people are masters at appealing to their target audience's emotions – often the emotion of fear - and employ this strategy accordingly to the detriment of the truth.  Thus, the veracity of their work may be lacking but the audience may still choose to accept and believe it, putting on blinders to the fact that it conflicts reality.    Still another possible issue is that of false causality.  Even with the best intentions, scientists can draw false conclusions and stray far off track because they could not or did not take into account all possible variables in their research.  Stemming from this, they may present their evidence with more conviction than they ought to – claiming to have 'solved' the mystery or problem when, in fact, they might have learned something new about it, but remain far removed from the level of understanding they project.    As teachers, we can only do the best we can do to present the truth as we know it, admitting to students that we are inherently prone to errors and bias.  Ultimately, the information we present will be faulty and flawed in some way.  Nevertheless, it is still possible for it to contain a certain degree of truth that will serve to assist students in discovering and grasping the world around them.  4
  5. 5. Book Smarts Versus Street Smarts Sure the theory of relativity is cool, but if you are so very engrossed in discovering its fascinating details, nose stuck in book, and perhaps pen stuck behind ear, that you accidentally cross the street when the warning signal is flashing and meet your demise in a swift moment, your book smarts are not going to fare you very well.  In fact, they won't fare you well at all, but rather will cause your farewell.   Make Science Applicable and Real    All dark anecdotes aside, I believe that the point of science class is less about learning facts and more about learning how to hypothesize, test, and look for evidence in the real world to support one's conclusions.  The idea of fake news fits well with this paradigm for science class since it serves as a reminder to students not to believe everything they read or hear.  Though the habit of blind acceptance may be firmly drilled into them through their years at school, this lesson will suggest another habit to practice: that of free thinking, questioning prior beliefs, and always being wary of becoming too attached to one viewpoint or understanding of the world.    5
  6. 6. Opportunity to Test Common Sense and Divergent Thinking I have crafted a fun lesson on fake news that is of the classic design in which the teacher attempts to trick his or her students – not to make fools of them, but to more powerfully emphasize the point.     This lesson will consist of three parts: (1) Measuring students' prior ability to discern the truth of a source, (2)Collaborating to identify red flags of unreliable sources, and (3)Extending this knowledge to new situations to practice and home their ability.  Objective: Ideally, students should leave this activity with a new radar for detecting truth.  The Lesson: Dihydrogen Monoxide Fake News   This lesson hinges upon a purposefully-crafted fake news site all about the grave qualities and dangers of the abundant compound dihydrogen monoxide, or yes, more commonly, water.  The site is sufficiently elaborate and trustworthy-seeming that it could trick someone into buying its argument.  Nevertheless, with a little bit of sleuthing and questioning, one can discover that it is in fact a joke and a hoax.    6
  7. 7. Part I: Can You Identify Fake News?   The teacher will instruct students to peruse the site individually.  As students look through the site, they will collect and consider the information, ultimately forming a conclusion - again, individually - on whether they agree or disagree with it.  Be sure that during this step, students are only consulting the site and are not consulting other internet resources. When ready, they will fill out a survey on Survey Monkey that asks which elements of the site cause students to be persuaded to be "for" or "against" the ban of dihydrogen monoxide.  When all students have completed the survey, the teacher will display the class-wide results.  At this point, the teacher will reveal the trick: that the site is entirely made up and that dihydrogen monoxide is none other than the compound water, necessary for life on Earth.  You may have some students who facepalm in disgust at having fallen for the hoax. Assure them that it is easy to be fooled by the site if you do not immediately recognize what indeed dihydrogen monoxide is.   7
  8. 8. Part II: Working Together to Identify Elements of Fake News   The next step will be for students to figure out which red flags might point to fake news sites.  During class, students will collaborate to create a class Google Slides with screenshots of the dihydrogen monoxide site that illustrate the suspicious element.  Later, the class will reconvene to discuss these elements and discuss how they extend in a more universal way to news sites.     8 Example of slides students could create for this step
  9. 9. Part III: Applying and Demonstrating Your New Skills   Finally, students will show off their newly minted skills in identifying fake news. They will each be assigned a scientific article chosen by the teacher that contains material of varying levels of truth. At home, they will do the same exercise as in class, taking screenshots of key truth elements and posting them on a class Google Slides. In addition to posting screenshots from their article, they will be required to comment on at least four other students’ work. In the end, students should go away with the lesson that, though the truth may be hidden or confused, in the end, if one digs deep enough, continues to ask “Why?” and persists in seeking answers, one can discover it. Images courtesy of Adobe Spark. 9
  10. 10. Have you ever thought to yourself that you think your students are lacking in the critical thinking skills department? Are you not sure how to teach critical thinking to your elementary school students? Well look no further, my fellow educators! I have hemmed and hawed over this question myself, and not long after a certain football game was played on the first Sunday in February (I can’t say the name due to trademark/copyright infringement laws), I was inspired to create this fun, engaging, standards-based lesson to do with my fifth graders! USING TV ADS TO TEACH PERSUASIVE WRITING 2 10 by Jennifer Upchurch
  11. 11. DAY 1 A major standard when it comes to writing in the upper elementary grades (3-5) is persuasive writing. In thinking about it, I felt that this was the best place to try and tie some exercises in thinking critically to the standards that we as teachers are always aiming to teach to. In an effort to try and tie critical thinking skills to the standards around persuasive writing, and to get my students engaged, I thought about the idea of using TV ads that students are very familiar with, and having students analyze them, specifically looking at what methods of persuasion the advertisers used to try and get you, the viewer, to buy their product. This first day of this mini-unit is really focused on introducing advertising techniques and getting students to think about some commercials they may have seen that utilize these techniques. I know that I often try to use as much technology as I can, and so if I were to teach this lesson again, which I plan to do next year, I would want to use a digital version of this pamphlet, perhaps something they can edit in Google Slides. Since I know many school are not as blessed as we are to be at a 1:1 school, here is a pamphlet I found on my favorite website, teacherspayteachers.com. It has four different persuasive techniques used by advertisers: Bandwagon, Celebrity Endorsement, Humor, and Emotional Appeal. Since this is just the first day of this mini-unit, I would suggest explaining these different techniques to your kids, or if you wanted to, having them research them themselves. I would also ask if they watched the “Big Game” the previous weekend, and ask if they can recall any ads that they had seen that caught their attention, or that they felt particularly persuaded by, and why they felt persuaded by those specific ads. Have them spend some time reflecting on this, and writing about how they were feeling watching those ads.
  12. 12. NAME________________________________ super bowl Persuasive Techniques Bandwagon techniques Used: Celebrity spokesperson Uses the argument that a person should believe or do something because “everybody else” does Examples: _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ Uses a celebrity or famous person to endorse a product Examples: _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ persuasive words and phrases: •  In my opinion… •  I believe… •  It is my belief that… •  There is no doubt that… •  For example… •  In fact… •  This results in… •  In the same way… •  I understand you… my examples: ________________________ ________________________ ________________________ ________________________ ________________________ ©AmeliaDCapotostaD2015D Humor techniques Used: Emotional Appeals Used to make audiences laugh, but provides little information about the product or service Examples: _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ Make viewers feel certain emotions, such as excitement, sadness, or fear Examples: _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ product i would advertise: why? __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ __________________ which technique would you use? why would this work? __________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ____________ ©AmeliaDCapotostaD2015D Here is a link to download a copy for your class! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Persuasive- Writing-with-Super-Bowl-Commercials-Freebie-1097152
  13. 13. DAY 2Today, the fun begins! I have compiled all the commercials that I used to teach this unit to my students. They were from previous years, but I felt that these were the best four that I could find that would appeal to my specific students, as well as best show the four advertising techniques that we were talking about. Marshawn Lynch - Skittles Commercial (Celebrity Endorsement) I chose to show my kids this commercial specifically because: 
 1.My kids are Seahawks crazy! 
 2. We have a Skittles dispenser in our classroom.
 3. My co-teacher is a huge fan of Marshawn Lynch.
 4. This is a solid example of a celebrity endorsement commercial. Melissa McCarthy - Kia Commercial (Humor) I chose to show my kids this commercial specifically because: 
 1. It aired during the “Big Game” the previous Sunday.
 2. It is a car commercial, but does not clearly advertise the car or brand. 
 3. It was voted online as the funniest commercial aired that Sunday. Microsoft Commercial (Emotional Appeal) I chose to show this commercial because: 
 1. Microsoft is based in Seattle, so my kids are familiar with the company.
 2. The ad makes you feel good when you watch it. Old Navy Commercial (Bandwagon) I chose this commercial because: 
 1. It takes place at school, relating to my kids’ personal experiences.
 2. It clearly shows someone doing something because everyone else is doing it.
  14. 14. As you show your kids the commercials, you can have them guess which techniques are being used in each ad. They will have fun figuring it out, and arguing why they know that that technique is being used. Once you have reached a consensus, have them write the “name” of the commercial under that technique on their pamphlet. How they know which technique is being used is how you will incorporate critical thinking skills into this unit!!!! It is good to have them filling out the pamphlet, or something similar on their computers if you have them, as you go through each ad and discuss the following things: • What the commercial is advertising: product, service, etc. • How convincing is the ad? Bandwagon You can also use print ads to give students some variety in thinking critically about different types of advertisements. Humor Celebrity Endorsement
  15. 15. DAY 3 For today’s lesson, they will be utilizing what they have learned about advertising techniques to make their own advertisements. I gave my students the option to make either a print ad, such as a magazine ad or a billboard, or a television commercial. To integrate technology, I had them produce the print ads in Google Drive, using either Google Slides or Google Drawing. To integrate the Engineering Design project that we had been working on in science, which centered around designing packaging for a pre-made s’more, I had students design an advertisement for their pre- made s’more. If you need a paper version of a storyboarding tool, there are many available on teacherspayteachers.com. If they wanted to make a commercial, I gave them the option to storyboard it out on Google Slides, or on paper, and then perform it in front of the class! They loved it! Along with designing an advertisement, I had them do a write-up, or a rationale about the technique(s) that they used, and how their advertisement persuades people to buy their s’mores package. To help my students, I shared with them in Google Classroom the document on the following page that outlines what they need to do. I also used it as a simple rubric, grading students on effort and participation, and only giving them full credit for the activity if their write-ups include all of the following elements.
  16. 16. Let’s Make A Super Bowl Commercial!   The Task: ​Create an advertisement for your  pre-packaged S’Moore using one of the four advertising  techniques that we have studied.  You can either create  a commercial that you can act out in front of the  class, or you can create a print advertisement, such as  a Billboard or magazine page either on paper, or in a  Google Drawing.      Requirements: ​You must write up a 1 paragraph  explanation for your advertisement.  It will answer the  following questions:   ●How does my commercial or advertisement persuade  people to buy my S’Moore Package?   ●Which method of persuasion did I use in my  advertisement?   ●Is it a commercial that I will act out, or a print  advertisement, such as a Billboard or poster?  
  17. 17. 17 These are examples of student work! Rockin Sockin S’mores Buy our rockin sockin s’mores. Our rockin sockin s'mores are HEAT and WATER proof. This one was made on Google Slides. I had groups of students give their product a catchy name to “hook” people into reading their ads! Fresh and Sweet What a Treat Rocket s'mores This one was made using Google Drawings. The kids loved making their own commercials and print ads!
  18. 18. In this chapter, we will discuss the different ways you can integrate a “Choose your own adventure” into a math class. There are many different platforms that are available for making these choice-based adventures, but we’re only going to talk about three of them: “inklewriter,” Google Forms, and Powerpoint. Utilizing any of the many platforms will result in a shift of climate in your classroom. Your students will enjoy the break from the traditional “Lecture” style of teaching so many teachers STILL use (for some reason). THE CHOICE IS YOURS BY: ELI MCELROY AND TAMALIN SALISBURY 3 18
  19. 19. Editing Your Story Settings INTERACTIVE 3.1 The User Dashboard, where you can create and edit your stories. 1 2
  20. 20. 20 Here is what editing a Google Form looks like. You can add sections, and determine which section the question will lead them to depending on their answer. GALLERY 3.1 Google Forms
  21. 21. 21 An example of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story INTERACTIVE 3.2 Dave’s Flowers
  22. 22. inklewriter studios http://www.inklestudios.com/inklewriter/ Google Forms https://www.google.com/forms/about/
  23. 23. BY HANNAH O’BRIEN Click bait is often all you see when scrolling through different websites. I am sure that you have clicked on articles with headlines that jump out at you like “The 5 foods you SHOULD be eating” and “Zika is going to KILL your children” or something along those lines. The problem is that often people do not look much past the words into the article itself. From a science teacher’s perspectives it is of vital importance to teach HOW TO READ BETWEEN THE LINES OF RESEARCH 4 23
  24. 24. your students how to accurately analyze research articles to be informed and on the lookout for fake news or flashy headlines. This is a guide to a possible lesson plan for guiding your students through the process of learning how to analyze and critically think about the information that is in front of them. In the beginning of the lesson the teacher has to do most of the work however once the lesson gets started it is extremely student driven which I believe is a benefit. This lesson is planned for a classroom that is 1 to 1 with devices or has enough computers for students to have one device per group. The initial work is largely finding a “Bad” research article for the students to use and analyze . The gallery to the right is images of the infamous research article that supposedly linked vaccines at age two to developing autism. This could be an example of a bad research article to give your students. 24 Free Press, Free Press Action Fund
  25. 25. Once you have your first research article for your students, I created a Google Form that I set up like a survey (example below, make sure you scroll!). Each student would have access to this form and when analyzing the research article would feel out the survey based on their opinions of the research article. This tool is for me to then gleam an idea of whether my students are critically thinking about the article and beginning to realize its inaccuracies and limitations. Depending on the length of class time this part could be done in 1-2 class periods. The next section of the lesson is to start a small group discussion then a larger class discussion of the research article. Begin guiding the students towards the ideas around fake news and unfounded science, with hopefully the students leading the discussion after you facilitate the discussion. The length of the discussion depends on your class, it could work as a good opener for the lesson or if your class is very invested take a whole class period. After the discussion, the teacher introduces the second part of the unit. In small groups the students will create a guide or rubric for 25 Researching the Research Today, with your group, you analyzed a research article. This form is for me to see what you learned from class today. How did you approach the article? What did you notice? Anything good? Anything bad? In this form I want you to outline what your group came up with about our research article. Your email address will be recorded when you submit this form. Not you? Switch account * Required Name (every person in group please!) Email (every person in group please!) * How did you approach the scientific article? *
  26. 26. analyzing scientific research articles based off the research article they were given. This element can take shape however the students want it to, as long as what they create is user friendly. It should include elements such as: source of the article, was it peer-reviewed, do they site other articles, and what evidence do they have. ( I recommend doing this lesson once students have already been exposed to a fair amount of scientific articles.) Creating this product should take about a class period (again, depending on the length of your class). Once done you should collect all of the products and check for basics such as: its easy to use and covers multiple elements. LAST STEP: in the next and last part of this unit you will pass out the student created guides or rubrics to a DIFFERENT group then it was made by. Meaning no one should receive the rubric they created. Now each group will also be assigned a new scientific article by you (the teacher), I recommend choosing a combination of good and bad research articles. They will use the guide or rubric they were given to analyze 26 Different categories that people should be critically thinking about when analyzing a research article. SCORING! Make sure they include a spot to actually rate the research article that they are analyzing. Make sure students outline what their range or expectations are for research articles, such as exceeds standards, meets, below standards. 1 2 3
  27. 27. the scientific research article, this could take 1-2 class periods! The assessment aspect of this unit is the created rubric or guide for each student group, along with participation of each group member throughout the project or unit. I will also have the students give an evaluation of the rubric they used for the final article. It will not be the final grade for the rubric but it will be taken into consider, that way the students have some input in the process. After everything is turned in I would just have a final discussion with my students about scientific research and fake news to help close the project and get their feedback on how they thought the project was, what they enjoyed or maybe did not enjoy. Always great to get feedback from your students, enjoy! 27
  28. 28. By: Jeremy Jon Reyes Pingul DO YOU BELIEVE IT TO BE TRUE OR FALSE? 5 28
  29. 29. Purpose: To get students thinking about the words they read and hear. To get them to determine to themselves whether they believe the words given to them to be completely true (white), sometimes true (grey), or completely untrue (black). To give them the opportunity to use their voice…to feel like they can be heard. Points of Note: Class Management Level High – Once the activity starts, it becomes a self-motivated activity for the students. Some students will find it interesting while others will not (typical student behavior). Confidentiality Level High – Words have powerful control over people. When it is time for discussion, some students may be brave enough to share a “dark” history that may inspire others to share to. Do not stop them for this may build classroom community between the students at a high risk, but instead have them all swear or sign a sort of contract that swears them to confidentiality for everyone (But do take note of what is said because you may have to take action to save a student’s future). Subject Area Any Subject – This activity can be done in any subject area for it is an off- curricula activity unless you make it so. Length of Activity 2 Days – Take one day for the students to do the activity’s task(s). Take the next day to have them finish up, have a class discussion, and closure. Creativity While I will have pics and a link of the activity, I will teach you how to make your own so you can collect and use your own personal folder of quotes for future activities if you wish to use it again or use it for some other use. 29
  30. 30. Introduction: Welcome! Do You Believe It to be True or False? is an activity tailored to having students engage in critical thinking that relates to things they have seen or experiences they have gathered in their lifetime or will gather in the future. While not necessary, this activity can be tailored to your subject of teaching. This activity is also a self- motivated activity so be sure to sell it good so that students would be interested and engaged. This activity is all about getting the students to grasp and master the “Stop and Think” saying because, as we know, the words in the world are making it harder and harder to distinguish truths from lies. So, it is up to us to help them learn this skill because I believe that the world will be a much better place if there were a lot more people who can “take a step back to stop and think” so they can control themselves when life throws them a curveball. There are two versions of this activity: online and paper. The activity can be done in either way, but their workflows are different so click on the links below to take you to the desired version you wish to use. The online version uses a site called Coggle so click here to take you to a page that explains Coggle and how you can start using it yourself. After you read the desired version of the activity you want to use, click here to skip to the Tips page of the activity or just go to the end of the book. You can use my version here. You will need to download it in order to use it for yourself. You can use it to give yourself inspiration when making your own. So, let’s get started! Versions: Online Route Paper Route 30
  31. 31. Introducing Coggle!! Coggle is an online brainstorming site that is free-to-use if you are using the elementary functions (recommended), but gives you more abilities if you become a paid member (only applies to you). Go check it out at coggle.it/ (Gallery option in the top right)! I will be waiting. You back? Okay! Let us move on! Coggle is really simple to operate that I believe you could pick it up quickly in under 20 minutes. I even recommend the site itself to you and your students so you all can use it to brainstorm future school projects. So here is the rundown of the site: 1. To begin with, you have a title box with arrowheads on each side of the box. The arrowheads represent the branches, or brainstorm branches as I like to call them, of the title. 31
  32. 32. 2. Each arrowhead can support up to 4 brainstorm branches before they slide on over to the next available arrowhead. Highlighting the arrowhead will give you a “+” symbol to add a new brainstorm branch. 3. At the end of each brainstorm branch will be an arrowhead that says “Click here to edit” when you can input a statement, idea, or in this case, quote with options to bold, italicize, insert a link, and/or insert a picture (ignore the last one). You can change the font size by dragging the corner of the text box around. To add mini brainstorm branches that are attached to this “idea”, highlight the “idea” arrowhead and a “+” symbol will appear. Move the branches by click-and-hold the “+” button and drag it around. 32
  33. 33. 4. In the top-right of the screen, there are a bunch of buttons so let us go over each (left to right). 1) Full Screen 2) Share – Get a link and send it to others 3) Download 4) People who have joined the Coggle activity and the powers they are allowed (You want to set the students as authors so they can type in their responses) 5) Dates of when any changes to the Coggle was made 6) Chat and Comment 5. That’s the end! You are now Coggle-user certified! Enjoy! 33
  34. 34. Online Route Materials Needed: • Laptops or tablets – One per Student • WiFi Connection • Student’s email addresses Website: • Coggle Workflow: 1. Prior to class or during class, share the Coggle to the class using the sharing button and sending the link to their emails. Allow them the power of “Author” so they can write their responses. 2. Allow them as individuals, pairs, or in small groups of 4 to explore the quotes and write a response to at least 5 of them. 3. Have a class discussion over the quotes that students have responded and ask them to explain to their peers why they said what they said. Lesson: 1. Explain the purpose of the activity: In the world we are in now, it is getting more difficult to tell whether words we see and hear are true or false. Sometimes the words we deem true are actually false and sometimes words we deem false are actually true. In this activity, we will be reading a bunch of quotes said by people throughout time. Looking back on your experiences of what you have seen, heard, said, and/or did, read and think of these quotes as if they were being applied to you. Do the quote(s) sound true to you? Somewhat true? False? 2. Give them instructions of how to navigate the page and respond to quotes Use the arrow keys to move around the screen or slide around if using tablet o Example: “Tomorrow is a new day” – Anonymous o Written Response: You want them to write their names after their responses since multiple students will respond to multiple quotes o Verbal Response: *Insert reasons here* - Discussion Phase 34
  35. 35. 3. Get started Warning: Be prepared to monitor the site. Since the students are Authors, they have the ability to change the quotes so they may do that. 35
  36. 36. Paper Route Materials: • Paper Copies of the Quotes • Tape • Paper • Pen/Pencil • Overhead Projector (Display quotes during Discussion Phase) Workflow: 1. Prior to class, post the quotes around the classroom. On the walls, on tables, and/or on doors. Perhaps label each of them with a number, letter or symbol. 2. Allow them as individuals, pairs, or in small groups of 4 to explore the quotes and write a response to at least 5 of them. o Make sure there is no more than 4 students around one quote. 3. Have a class discussion over the quotes that students have responded and ask them to explain to their peers why they said what they said. Lesson: 1. Explain the purpose of the activity In the world we are in now, it is getting more difficult to tell whether words we see and hear are true or false. Sometimes the words we deem true are actually false and sometimes words we deem false are actually true. In this activity, we will be reading a bunch of quotes said by people throughout time. Looking back on your experiences of what you have seen, heard, said, and/or did, read and think of these quotes as if they were being applied to you. Do the quote(s) sound true to you? Somewhat true? False? 2. Give them instructions of what they should do o Go around the classroom and read the quote at each station. o To respond to a quote, write the label of the quote on your sheet and write a short response. • Example: © - *Insert agreement or disagreement here* o Discussion Phase • Tell them that they will explain why they said what they have written about a quote 36
  37. 37. • Display the quotes one at a time on an overhead projector so they know which one you are discussing • Ask for volunteers first before resorting to cold-calling them. 3. Get started 37
  38. 38. Tips • Remind the students that they are individuals. This activity is not supposed to change people’s minds about how they view life, meaning just because a peer sounded really believable does not mean that one should change his/her response to theirs. His/her response should change ONLY if the response resonates with who he/she is like if the response was the missing piece to his/her response. • Remind students to be open-minded. Like the reason above, they are individuals, thus they all think differently. So instead of being disturbed by a peer’s thoughts, they should applaud him/her because he/she was brave enough to share and perhaps they may have found a new friend. • During discussion, do not have the students treat this activity as a debate. This is all about the students discovering about themselves: how they think, how they process, and how much they trust others. Do not have students shutting down the thoughts of others. • There are no wrong answers. Everything is open-ended and leaves a little “food for thought” for students to come back to some day in the future to see if they still think the same as they in the activity. That is all! If you try this activity, I hope you enjoyed it! If not, thanks for reading! If you did not enjoy, I applaud you for taking the risk! 38
  39. 39. In the age of fake news and extreme media skew, students should have a working understanding of the electoral process and the importance of civil participation, as well as develop a discerning eye for the potential bias in the news they see every day. By providing a 4 week, multidisciplinary unit that allows them to explore this process, and conflicting views, in a way that doesn’t divide students over their actual political views, students will gain an appreciation for the process and hopefully a desire to participate. CIVICALLY SUBLIME KURT ANDERSON, BEKAH KOLB, RYAN GREENBERG 6 39
  40. 40. LEARNING TARGETS: ✦ Students will be able to identify slant, logical fallacies, and bias in argumentative writing and other propaganda . ✦ Students will be able to identify characteristics of Enlightenment and Romantic writing. ✦ Students will discover the campaign and electoral processes through an experiential learning process. ✦ Students will develop an interest in the political process. This unit is designed to take place over the course of four weeks between at least one English classroom and at least one Government/Civics classroom.
  41. 41. Students will be able to... • Learn the basics tenets of Romantic and Enlightenment Writers through an exploration of their major works • Identify the best candidates from the list and hold primary election • Choose roles for the students to embody during the campaign process WEEK 1 ENGLISH CIVICS Students will be able to... • Define Slant, Bias etc. • Explain the basics of the presidential election process • Identify Slant, Audience, Bias, and historical background for a series of campaign speech transcripts, political cartoons centered around elections, and propaganda materials Students will be able to... • Write campaign Speeches in the style of the candidates, present as possible to other classes • Make blog posts/advertisements/ etc reacting to materials created by civics class • Hold debate • Hold press briefing WEEK 2 ENGLISH CIVICS Students will be able to... • Work on building campaign materials (propaganda posters, social media campaigns, political cartoons, posters, brochures…) that are reflective of the materials they worked with during week 1 for their campaigns • Post around the building, to social media, hand out at lunch, etc.
  42. 42. Students will be able to... • Final campaign push--ads and social media, last debate, countdowns, etc. • Give speeches to civics classes.
 WEEK 3 ENGLISH CIVICS Students will be able to... • Election process overview • Hear campaign speeches, prepare questions for last debate/press release • Vote. Students will be able to... • Victory Party 
 • Reflection Paper in the style of the winning candidate WEEK 4 ENGLISH CIVICS Students will be able to... • Reflection discussions • Compare and contrast actual politician messages before election and after • Socratic seminar
  43. 43. Romantic Writers to Research The chart below are our choices for a sample reading set for students to research. Items in bold are ones we consider essential to not only the specific authors, but also the movement they operate in. 43
  44. 44. 44 Enlightenment Writers to Research The chart below are our choices for a sample reading set for students to research. Items in bold are ones we consider essential to not only the specific authors, but also the movement they operate in.
  45. 45. 45 We’ve created a resource for use in lessons on research, ideally for week number one. Although this unit presents a logistical challenge, it’s important to expose students to interdisciplinary thinking and critical analysis of their schoolwork and surroundings. This unit will help students with critical thinking, thus combating their understanding of “fake news.”

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