Friday, December 30, 2016

21st Century Skills- Lessons in News Literacy

I believe media literacy, and in particular news literacy has never been more important. Unfortunately, it's rarely included in the curriculum. Not because it isn't important, but because there isn't the time or the staff to teach it.

In the past, I  made a point of incorporating media literacy into my Social Psychology classes with regard to gender bias in the media. In recent years, I've included more "news literacy" into my Civics, Social Studies, and Life Skills courses. Lately, I've noticed a decline in students' ability to discern fact from opinion. I've also noticed a tendency among my students to relentlessly "share" stories on social media with little to no regard to "truth." Many kids don't know how to fact check. I also think many don't think about the ramifications of spreading false or embellished news. 

Over the holiday break, I've spent a great deal of time working on a couple lessons and activities relating to the topic of news literacy. I plan to implement these lessons soon. My students are often brutally honest when my lessons flop! Keeping my fingers crossed these lessons won't flop!

Read more about teens "vulnerability" to fake news here:

Find these lessons and activities here------->

Friday, December 23, 2016

Civil Rights History "Gallery Walk" Activity

This week my Civil Rights History students were wrapping up a unit, therefore I felt it would be a good idea to plan a review activity. We often play Quizlet Live or Kahoot when we're reviewing material, however I thought it would be nice to try something different. Plus, it's always a bonus when I can get the kids out of their seats, moving around.

I often find new ideas for classroom activities online, especially on Instagram and twitter. I learned about gallery walks after reading an article someone shared on twitter. I thought it sounded like a perfect activity for my Civil Rights History class so I created a "Gallery Walk" activity for my students. I implemented it this week and was very pleased with the results. My students were excited and engaged! I was impressed with the quality of small-group discussions among the groups, even among students who are often silent or "reluctant" participants.

SantaLand Diaries Anticipatory Writing Activity

Every year my juniors and seniors read SantaLand Diaries in the days leading up to winter break. This year we tried something new. I asked my students to write up a job description for a SantaLand elf before we began reading. Simple activity and lots of fun! I had a blast grading these assignments!
Click here for my SantaLand Diaries Anticipatory Writing and Word Cloud Activities in my TpT store!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

English 400- Today's "bell-ringer"

I'd like you to take the following online "screener" answering the questions as if you were Todd Anderson or Neil Perry.

When you are finished, email me your results.

Monday, September 19, 2016

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month- Events and Lesson Plans

This year, RVHS Pathways Program and Service Learning students are working together to plan a number of projects as part of our commitment to educational outreach and support for women and children victimized by domestic violence in our communities.

In addition to a week-long unit, student-created bulletin boards and a "Wall of Ribbons," students are planning a week-long personal care item drive for Passages, a local shelter serving women and children in several surrounding communities.

Working along with our Varsity Volleyball team this year, the girls will host a "Diggin for Hope" event, Thursday, October 6th during Homecoming. The players will be dressed in purple to honor a former teammate we lost this past summer. T-shirts can be ordered online or the week prior to the game. In addition, Pathways students and Service Learning students will be selling BBQs and baked goods the night of the game to raise money for Hope House, a shelter serving women and children in Sauk County.

Order t-shirts here:
More info on Diggin for Hope:

This summer I spent several hours writing new lessons and updating my Domestic Violence PowerPoint for my Service Learning, Life Skills, and Social Studies students. The week-long unit and two guest speakers we have planned for the week will most certainly be a powerful learning experience for students.

I have numerous resources on the topic of domestic violence on my blog. I encourage educators to search my blog for resources and lessons I've posted over the years. I will include a link to my updated Domestic Violence lessons posted on my TpT site and a link to my Domestic Violence Pinterest Page below.

Domestic Violence PSA Assignment
Find 3 PSAs on the topic of domestic violence on YouTube. Watch. Rate each PSA.
Rating (1-10)
1=Poor, 10=Excellent 

What did you like about your highest rated PSA? Write your answer here

Work alone, with a partner, or in a small group and create a PSA on the topic of domestic violence. How long do you want your PSA to be? Circle.
30 seconds
45 seconds
60 seconds
When will your PSA run? Holidays/Special Events? Time of Day?

Who is your target audience?

What media format?
Television, newspaper/magazine, online, radio
What is the title of your PSA?

What is your message?

“Hook” (How are you going to grab your audience’s attention?) Statistic(s)? Fact(s)? Appeal to emotion?

Where did you find your info/facts/statistics? Write links here:

What is your call to action? (What do you want your audience to do?)

Story Board your PSA

Group member initials and points (Circle: 1=Poor, 10=Excellent)

Domestic Violence PSAs