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.
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
6. Civically Sublime by Kurt Anderson, Bekah Kolb, Ryan
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
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.
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.
Book Smarts Versus Street
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Example of slides students could create for this step
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.
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
by Jennifer Upchurch
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.
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
1.My kids are Seahawks crazy!
2. We have a Skittles dispenser in our
3. My co-teacher is a huge fan of
4. This is a solid example of a celebrity
Melissa McCarthy - Kia Commercial
I chose to show my kids this commercial
1. It aired during the “Big Game” the
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
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
Old Navy Commercial
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
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?
You can also use print ads to give students
some variety in thinking critically about
different types of advertisements.
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
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
Requirements: You must write up a 1 paragraph
explanation for your advertisement. It will answer the
●How does my commercial or advertisement persuade
people to buy my S’Moore Package?
●Which method of persuasion did I use in my
●Is it a commercial that I will act out, or a print
advertisement, such as a Billboard or poster?
These are examples of
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
This one was made using
Google Drawings. The kids
loved making their own
commercials and print ads!
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
Editing Your Story
INTERACTIVE 3.1 The User Dashboard, where you can create and edit your stories.
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
GALLERY 3.1 Google Forms
An example of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story
INTERACTIVE 3.2 Dave’s Flowers
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
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
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
Free Press, Free Press Action Fund
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
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
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
Name (every person in group please!)
Email (every person in group please!) *
How did you approach the scientific article? *
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
Different categories that people should
be critically thinking about when
analyzing a research article.
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,
1 2 3
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!
By: Jeremy Jon Reyes Pingul
DO YOU BELIEVE IT TO
BE TRUE OR FALSE?
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
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).
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.
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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!
• Laptops or tablets – One per Student
• WiFi Connection
• Student’s email addresses
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.
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
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.
• 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
• 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!
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
KURT ANDERSON, BEKAH KOLB, RYAN GREENBERG
✦ 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
✦ Students will discover the campaign and electoral processes through an experiential
✦ 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.
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
• Choose roles for the students
to embody during the
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
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
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
• Post around the building, to social
media, hand out at lunch, etc.
Students will be able to...
• Final campaign push--ads and
social media, last debate,
• Give speeches to civics
Students will be able to...
• Election process overview
• Hear campaign speeches,
prepare questions for last
Students will be able to...
• Victory Party
• Reflection Paper in the style of
the winning candidate
Students will be able to...
• Reflection discussions
• Compare and contrast actual
politician messages before
election and after
• Socratic seminar
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.
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.
We’ve created a resource for use in
lessons on research, ideally for week
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.”