Tag Archives: Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan for Teaching Kids to Spot Fake News

Fake News is the phrase du jour. The reality is that misinformation propagates social media (especially Facebook). With the proliferation of Social Media and the use of Social Media (by main stream news organizations, political pundits, and our sitting President), it will remain a platform for sharing information (including the news) for the foreseeable future. Both Facebook and Google have made attempts to tackle fake news. In addition to their own filtering methods, Facebook allows users to flag and report fake news stories. Google has also expanded its fact-check tools to spot and flag fake news.

The reality is, however, that we cannot expect our online platforms to keep up with the deluge of fake media. Media literacy is a necessary skill for our students to learn in order for them to wade through the glut of information available to them online. However, a recent study from Stanford found that most students cannot tell real news from fake.

There is an exercise that I like to do with my students. We talk about the realities of fake news, perhaps ask them to share stories that they thought were real, but later learned were fake. I share with them resources for spotting fake news:

How_to_Spot_Fake_News

Next, I ask them to create a Fake News Story for me. Something that they are likely to see online via Facebook. For this exercise, students often create the obvious: “You Won’t Believe what the Democrats did this Time!” or “Donald Trump is Getting Impeached!” examples. These stories are the most obvious to spot.

The best exercise, however, comes when I ask them to team up and we make a game out of each. Each team presents five news stories. Three of those news articles are fake, two are real. If they are able to “trick” the opposing teams, they receive 1 point for each news article they fool the opposition into believing. They receive 1 point for each article they correctly identify as fake. Students then work really hard to “trick” their classmates – they play off of one another’s known biases, create convincing “news networks,” and spell check like no one’s business! They learn the ins-and-outs of posting and sharing news, viral marketing, and deceptive practices. This makes them better discerners of published media and more able-minded digital citizens.

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Free Mystery Skype Curriculum for Schools

Some great information here about how you can use Skype in your classroom.

Jonathan Wylie

mystery skype curriculum

Do you use Mystery Skype in your classroom? If so, you are probably familiar with how it works, but if you are looking for some extra tips, or want to get some other teachers involved, you should check out the new Mystery Skype Curriculum that Microsoft has put together for teachers who are connecting their classrooms all around the world.

The curriculum is free for anyone who wants to use it, but you do need a Microsoft account in order to sign in and view the latest version. Microsoft accounts are free, and you may already have one if you have a Hotmail or Outlook.com email address. For some reason Office 365 for School accounts do not seem to be supported, but this may have changed by the time you read this blog post.

The curriculum is in the form of a OneNote notebook. OneNote, if you don’t already know…

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Library of Congress – Resources for Women’s History Month

 

Suffragettes picketing c/o Wikimedia Commons

Suffragettes picketing c/o Wikimedia Commons

The Library of Congress has a series of resources for teachers that are specific to teaching Women’s History Month. The robust online resources provide a variety of primary sources, activities, lesson plans, and more that can help you bring the alive women’s history from the beginnings of our country through modern times and politics.

If you would like to view the robust library of resources, you may do so here.

Smithsonian Online Exhibit: On the Water

Thanks to my colleague Greg Cooper for letting me know about this great exhibit. The Smithsonian Museum has an amazing online exhibit: On the Water. The exhibit, divided by era and theme, explores physical artifacts, maps, narratives and accounts, as well as songs and stories all connected to man’s relationship with the Ocean. The exhibit, primarily focused on United States history, explores whaling, piracy, travel, and more.

In addition to content and material, the exhibit also provides numerous learning resources for educators, including lesson plans and activities.

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PBS LearningMedia – Thousands of Classroom Ready Digital Resources

PBS LearningMedia is a free resource for educators and students that provides access to tens of thousands of digital resources: images, video, audio, and more. You can easily browse PBS LearningMedia’s website by content, grade level, state/federal standards, and collections. It even has a great collection of less plans for you to browse!

masthead-lm-bubbles-plain

Go to their website and browse their content for free!

Doing Social Studies: One more blog about what we love

History Tech

Do we need another blog about social studies? I mean, there’s got to be hundreds, maybe thousands of blogs that talk about social studies. And almost all of them are very good.

I’m a little biased, of course. I like this one. It’s been around since January 2008 and so I’m kind of invested. But I do think there is room for another social studies blog – the more conversations we have about what we do and how we do it the better.

So.

A new blog.

Titled Doing Social Studies and maintained by the Kansas Council for the Social Studies, the site is a place

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Library of Congress – Resources for Teachers

The Library of Congress offers a variety of classroom materials as well as professional development to help teachers use their free materials effectively in their classroom. You can even organize and search material based on Common Core  or State requirements. The Library of Congress contains a repository of primary resources in a variety of media (texts, images, audio, video, etc). Their professional development includes funded trips to the library to work at your own pace, free modules. Be sure to check out the Library of Congress’s Resources for Teachers.

Screen shot of the LOC Search Page

Screen shot of the LOC Search Page