Author:
Beth Clothier, John Sadzewicz, Dana John, Angela Anderson
Subject:
Communication, Journalism, Educational Technology, Composition and Rhetoric, Reading Informational Text, Speaking and Listening
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan
Level:
High School
Tags:
Evidence, Lateral Reading, Reliability and Validity, Who Am I Online Unit
License:
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
Language:
English, Spanish
Media Formats:
Downloadable docs, Text/HTML

Education Standards (3)

Evidence vs. "Truthiness"

Evidence vs. "Truthiness"

Overview

Students will practice authenticating online source material as well as strategies for determining the reliability of information. This lesson is part of a media unit curated at our Digital Citizenship website "Who Am I Online?"

Evidence vs. "Truthiness"

 

Lesson Objective/Student Target:

The students will be able to

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.8

Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.

Overarching Question:

Is the content I am reading backed by evidence?

Key Vocabulary:

Evidence- empirical data, such as primary sources, research, statistics, measurable facts, expert opinions that supports an assertion or claim.

Truthiness” A word coined by Steven Colbert poking fun at how people think something is true because it “feels right to them”.

Lateral Reading- A technique of reading web based sources where the reader opens multiple tabs to verify information and expertise in an article, website, or other forms of content.

Networked- Content that has multiple contributors and authors, often from individuals and groups, that allows the content to be shifted and changeable.

Materials:

Content Objective:

Students will investigate sources for reliability and validity.

Language Objective:

Students will orally present to group research related to their assigned section.

Pre-Assessment/Background Knowledge:

Web based articles have various degrees of reliability and validity.  On a piece of paper:

  1. Name a web source you consider reliable and valid.
  2. How do you know this?

OR

  1. Name a web source you doubt is reliable and valid.
  2. How do you know this?

Activity:

As digital medias are Networked, you can determine the credibility of a source.The following is an exercise in practicing verifying sources.

Reading Laterally: Verifying source

Class will be divided into four groups.  Members of the groups will partner off.

 Hand out El Chapulín Article

1. Whole class read first paragraph, then highlight:

  • Pink: Source of article (website, publication, etc.)
  • Green: Relevant to the topic statistics, data, dates, facts
  • Yellow: Author
  • Blue: Cited sources (more specific than sources say…)

2.  In groups, investigate the evidence of the article:

         Group 1: Pink

  • Who published the article?  
  • What do we know about this person or organization?

Group 2: Green

Group 3: Yellow

  • What do we know about this author?  Their credentials?
  • What else have they published? What is their expertise?

Group 4: Blue

  • Are the assertions in the article attributed to anything specific?
  • Are they credible?

Reading Laterally: similar information from other sources

See what other sources report about El Chapulin.  Is the information and evidence similar?  Are the sources consistent in what they’re saying?

Activity #2

Look up the aggregate Google News.  Find an article that you find interesting.  Run the same verifying procedure on the new article with your partner.

Suggestion:  This lesson could be an introduction to vetting sources for a research project.

Scaffolds:

  • Provide partially highlighted article
  • Simplify text using an overlay such as Read & Write for Google Chrome or Mercury Reader.

Note: Activity #2 likely would be another 50 minute lesson, using the same pre assessment and CFU.

Check for Understanding:

Read laterally. READING LATERALLY is seeing what other sources report on the  topic. Open a new tab and see what other sources have to say about the same story or topic. Answer the following questions:

  1. Is the source reliable?
  2. Does the author have credentials that lead you to believe they would be knowledgeable about this topic?
  3. Is the information consistent with what you’ve read on other site(s)?

Resources:

Digital Media are Networked.  Media Smarts: CA.  Retrieved on May 14, 2020 @ https://mediasmarts.ca/digital-media-literacy/general-information/digital-media-literacy-fundamentals.

This lesson is part of a larger unit on Digital Citizenship called "Who Am I Online?" To see the full lesson in context with the rest of the unit, visit our Google Site.

 

Lesson Objective/Student Target:

The students will be able to

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.8

Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.

Overarching Question:

Is the content I am reading backed by evidence?

Key Vocabulary:

Evidence- empirical data, such as primary sources, research, statistics, measurable facts, expert opinions that supports an assertion or claim.

Truthiness” A word coined by Steven Colbert poking fun at how people think something is true because it “feels right to them”.

Lateral Reading- A technique of reading web based sources where the reader opens multiple tabs to verify information and expertise in an article, website, or other forms of content.

Networked- Content that has multiple contributors and authors, often from individuals and groups, that allows the content to be shifted and changeable.