Search for a hot news topic via Google or Bing and in an instant you’ll be inundated with news stories from local and national news sources, well known and obscure bloggers sharing their points of view, international news coverage, satire sites, clickbait and even fake news. With so many news sources available online and in print, it’s more challenging than ever to judge the reliability, accuracy and point of view of many resources. Which all makes it more important than ever to help students develop news literacy skills.
Teaching news literacy skills is a great opportunity for cross discipline collaborations. Language arts for reading, comprehension and writing skills. Social studies for close examination of history, government and society. Math, science and arts for understanding and creating data, charts and infographics. It also provides a wonderful opportunity to help broaden students perspectives on the world by examining different cultures and points of view.
THINGS TO EXPLORE
Readings & Resources
- Truth, truthiness, triangulation: A news literacy toolkit for a “post-truth” world – If you read nothing else, read this one. Joyce Valenza addresses the need for updating how we approach news literacy in light of the fake news explosion during this recent election cycle. (Note the How to Choose Your News TedEd video that’s a perfect student introduction to news literacy ideas)
- Beyond the Bubble: Building Global Literacy in Our Students : Katie Day, AASL Knowledge Quest May/June 2016. Part of the special issue on Literacies.
- Why elections like this prove that info literacy matters – Good advice from Carolyn Foote.
- In on the joke: Political cartoons and the election– Joyce Valenza shares some great resources for teaching with political cartoons.
- News Literacy: Critical-Thinking Skills for the 21st Century : Edutopia article suggests some ideas for incorporating news literacy in the classroom.
- News Literacy: What Not to Do : Distinguishes between teaching journalism and developing news literacy skills.
- Reflection on News Literacy : Is news literacy different than media literacy? Or part of it?
- Glossary: The Language of News Literacy
- Practical Tools for Teaching News Literacy : NYTimes article outlines how one NYC middle school approaches news literacy.
- 50 Ways to Teach With Current Events : Another NYTimes article with a terrific list of classroom activity ideas.
- Six Principles Behind News Literacy : Short summary of 6 basic principles, including: free expression, discerning fact from opinion, transparency, and more.
- Empowering Learners with Digital and Media Literacy : Renee Hobbs, AASL Knowledge Quest May/June 2011.
- Understanding News Literacy: A Youth Media Perspective : Ingrid Hu Dahl and Christine Newkirk, Youth Media Reporter 2010
- The News Literacy Project : “An innovative national educational program that mobilizes seasoned journalists to work with educators to teach students how to sort fact from fiction.”
- The Good Country Index – Lots of interesting data for comparing countries & teaching global awareness. Includes a Global Vote section. Read up on election in other countries and cast a vote!
- “News” Sources – Some interesting lists of misleading, satirical, etc. “news” sites. Have students review some of the sites and assess them for themselves.
- False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical “News” Sources – “questionable “news” organizations that are commonly shared on facebook and other social media sites. Many of these websites rely on “outrage” by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits.”
- Snopes’ Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors – Snopes.com’s updated guide to the internet’s clickbaiting, news-faking, social media exploiting dark side.
- Fake News Watch – Fake, Satire and Clickbait sites. might be interesting to have students review some of the sites and assess them for themselves.
- Newseum ED Free learning tools on media literacy and our First Amendment freedoms
- How to Choose Your News – Great TedEd video that’s a perfect student introduction to news literacy ideas.
- Campaign 2016: Road to the White House – Tons of ideas and background information from the election.
- How libraries can provide a forum for civil discourse – Carolyn Foote’s Election 2016 discussion forum project.
- The Learning Network : Lesson plans from the NYTimes learning initiative.
- Students Vote 2016 : How did the kids vote?
- Lesson plan: Understanding News Literacy – Five downloadable lesson plans from the Journalism Education Association covering: Understanding news literacy, How news is changing, Fact-checking in the digital age, Finding bias and When journalists must advocate for themselves.
- News and Media Literacy Lessons : Collection of links to lesson plans for news, media and information literacy from a variety of news education organizations.
- Journalism Lesson Plans : 24 lessons on fundamental journalism concepts and skills from the American Society of News Editors’ Youth Journalism Initiative.
- Pulitzer Center Lesson Plans : Lesson plans with a global focus. Primarily for middle and high school level.
- Curriculum & Evaluation : From Why News Matters. Lots of lesson plan resources and ideas compiled from a variety of sources.
- Pulitzer Center Lesson Builder : The Pulitzer Center’s “educational programs provide students with fresh information on global issues, help them think critically about the creation and dissemination of news, and inspire them to become active consumers and producers of information.” The lesson builder helps you create lesson plans around the content provided by the Center and pull in other resources as well. Example lesson: The Geography of Poverty
- Newsmap – Fascinating visual representation of news stories. Aggregates news stories from many sources. The more news articles there are around a topic, the larger that topic appears on the screen. Compare what’s of interest/concern in 15 countries.
- News Explorer – Another tool to explore news visually, make connections between stories. Review on NeverEndingSearch.
- Listenwise : “Listenwise provides standards-aligned lesson plans and daily current events based on a curated collection of real world audio stories. We make it easy for teachers to bring authentic voices and engaging non-fiction to ELA, Social Studies, and STEM classrooms. Teach your students to listen with the power of public radio!” Free and Premium options. Includes Socrative quizzes for many of the news stories.
- Newsela and Newsela Elementary : Publishes news articles from major sources, but written at 5 different reading levels. Newsela Elementary has a slightly smaller set of articles that don’t include mature topics. Many additional features to help teach news literacy and engage students. Free and Pro accounts. Spanish language articles too. (Review from EdSurge)
- NewsOMatic : News app for kids grades 2-6 (iOS and Android) Stories are presented in an engaging manner, lots of graphics, maps, puzzles, etc. Personal subscription is about $20 year. Educational version is also by subscription. One of AASL Best Apps 2013 (Review on EdShelf)
- Teaching Kids News : A news roundup for grades 2-8
- Youngzine : Another news roundup site aimed at grades K-8. One of AASL Best Websites 2013
- Kids news round-up : Joyce Valenza summarizes a ton of great tools.
- Rewordify : Trying to simplify a complex text? Copy and paste it into rewordify. Takes complex words and rephrases them. Not fool-proof, but does a pretty good job. Options for level of complexity. Also creates vocabulary games. (thanks to Cheryl Toomey for sharing this resource and the next one in resource in last year’s Cool Tools workshop)
- Readability Score : Handy tool for checking the reading level of a text. Limited use per day with free version.
- Tech Tools – A selection of tools that might be useful for students to create news stories. From SchoolJournalism.org
Each of you will have different interests to explore with this topic. Some ideas to explore:
- Read a selection of articles, summarize, react and share your opinions in your blog post.
- Explore the lesson plan ideas and select material for your own teaching. Share your ideas and resources in your blog post.
- Try out some of the services listed in the Tools section and share how you might use them in your own teaching.
- Anything else that interests you about this topic.
*TURNING IN YOUR ASSIGNMENT
- Write & publish your blog post.
- Copy the URL for the post.
- Return to the lesson page on the CanvasLMS site.
- Use the SUBMIT ASSIGNMENT button in the CanvasLMS page and paste in your URL.
*Only for students participating in the workshop for PD credit hours through the Canavas LMS system.