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!