In this unit, students will understand where “fake news” comes from, why it exists and how they can think like fact checkers to become fluent consumers, evaluators, and creators of information. They will apply this knowledge by selecting a controversial topic to evaluate, synthesize, and analyze all aspects before sharing with a local audience.
The Roadmap is a remix of Michigan Open Book, MC3 and GIANTS all in one place. This foundational lesson introduces students to historical reasoning through the analysis of primary sources, such as historical maps and photographs. They examine how historians are detectives of the past and use evidence from primary and secondary sources. Students then explore the chronology of the settlement of a village in Michigan and identify the causes and effects of the founding of the community.
CIVIX has created a range of online and offline activities to help students improve their ability to evaluate information. Core activities are listed on this page. Each is supported by lesson plans, videos and other tools. Click into the descriptions below for more information.
This is a cross-curricular activity that uses the story Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday to practice money and decimal skills in addition to reading and writing skills. After reading or hearing the story, students will complete the attached worksheet. (If it's read aloud, students would need a way to refer back to the story to answer the questions. The worksheet has a mixture of reading and math questions. It can be edited if you choose. It can be used for either 3rd or 4th grade. With slight modifications, it could also be used for middle school EL students to learn about currency.
In this unit students continue the exploration of factors that influence change by examining the events that led up to the American Revolution. Over the course of the unit, students will build a deeper understanding of the significant ideas and values at the heart of the American Revolution, what drove the colonists to seek independence, and how conflict between England and the colonists ultimately influenced change in our country. Students will see the American Revolution from multiple perspectives, starting with analyzing the difference in perspectives between the British and the colonists and how each side’s actions often instigated each other. Students will also explore how class structure influenced colonists perspectives. Later in the unit, students will think about the perspectives of black people, women and Native Americans who were forced to choose a side and why they may have had a different point of view of the events of the revolution.
An important part of this unit is pushing students to focus on seeing history from multiple different perspectives. The core text Liberty! How the Revolutionary War Began offers one perspective on events, however, the prespective is limited to that held by white elite colonists. Therefore, students also read excerpts from A Young People's History of the United States in order to build a deeper understanding of all sides of the Revolution.
The goal for this unit is to have students analyze a variety of sources on a current events subject of their interest, identify the different perspectives, and defend their own position.This is one lesson from a larger unit on Evaluating Media. This unit will also cover identifying credible sources, analyzing fake news and the role of propaganda, identifying the different ways news is communicated in different communities. This unit will take place in the beginning of the school year to help instill evaluative and critical thinking research skills as we discuss and explore our big ideas throughout the school year. The end goal is to have students create a digital resource for their topic that we can share out as an educational tool for others. We’ll be creating a padlet that links to all of their presentations (students will have their choice in medium, as long as it is digital) that we will share with our school community and ideally can connect and share with other schools and students. There is also a possibility of using PenPalSchools to share out final resources, but that would depend on getting approval from the district to utilize that website.
This particular roadmap features all of the COLLABORATIVE designed activities for the "Ancient Civilizations Roadmap Unit View (revised)" resource. You could distribute this roadmap to students for work that they complete synchronously with partner(s) as part of their learning path in the unit map.
In this unit students explore the rise and fall of the ancient Roman Empire. Over the course of the unit, students learn about different characteristics of the Roman Empire, what lead to the Empire’s growth and success, and what eventually lead to the Empire’s demise. Through learning about the daily routines, structures, and rituals of the Roman Empire, students will be challenged to draw conclusions about what the civilization valued and how those values compare to societal values today. This unit builds onto the 2nd grade nonfiction unit on ancient Greece, in which students began to think about how the daily routines, structures, and rituals of a civilization show what they value. This unit, in conjunction with the second grade unit on ancient Greece, will help students understand early influences in the world and the first republics.
The mentor texts for this unit, Ancient Rome and Pompeii: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House and Eye Wonder: Ancient Rome, allow students to practice multiple informational reading strategies in two very different text structures. In both texts, but predominately in Eye Wonder, students will practice using a multitude of text features and illustrations as a way of learning new information about a topic. Over the course of this unit, students will constantly be thinking about how the information from one text builds on and connects to the information in the other text. Then at the end of the unit, students will be asked to critically analyze the similarities and differences between the two texts.
This unit explores the various ways information and ideas about climate change are presented through a variety of media. This includes the evaluation of social media posts, research into climate change issues, and an exploration of contemporary art and artists. This was designed and taught in an honors 9th grade English Language Arts Classroom by Dr. Tavia Quaid in response to student interest in climate change and to reinforce key information literacy skills.
Social media sites, like Twitter, are filled with individuals and groups seeking to further their agendas. In order to navigate this sea of information, students need to be able to weigh the relative strengths and weaknesses of tweets as sources of information. This task assesses students’ ability to consider the source of a tweet and the information contained in it en route to describing what makes it both a useful and less useful source of information.
Social media is rife with specious claims, and students often struggle to decide whether such claims are sound. This task asks students to evaluate the merits of a tweet that makes a claim about gun ownership and provides a link to an article as evidence.
Videos are a powerful, popular, and increasingly easy way to make and spread arguments about policy topics. Compelling footage and authoritative narration may make students tempted to trust such videos. In this task, students watch a short video and explain why they might not trust a video that makes a contentious claim.
As news websites have proliferated, their comments sections have emerged as forums for civic discourse. This task presents students with an online comment from "Joe Smith" and taps their ability to reason about the factors that make a comment more or less trustworthy.
As native advertisements proliferate, students need to look beyond surface features like vivid graphics and learn to carefully evaluate sources of information. In this task, students are presented with links to two articles from the same online news outlet and asked which is a more reliable source. Students must identify who is behind the articles and consider potential conflicts of interest in order to successfully evaluate the articles.
Infographics and charts can be useful tools in helping us understand complex information and data, but they can also be used to deceive. Students need to move beyond surface-level evaluations and think critically about what is presented and who is presenting it. In this assessment, students are asked to examine two digital graphics and determine which provides better evidence. In order to answer successfully, students must evaluate the source of each graphic.
Given the vast amount of information available online, students need to be able to distinguish between legitimate and dubious evidence. This assessment measures whether students can evaluate evidence when it takes the form of a vivid photograph.
Many news organizations have turned to native advertising as a source of revenue. By definition, native advertising tries to sell or promote a product in the guise of a news story. This makes it difficult for unsuspecting readers to know if and when there is an ulterior motive behind the information they encounter. This task assesses students’ ability to distinguish between an article and an advertisement.
In order for students to effectively navigate the news, they need to understand the differences between news stories and opinion columns. This task assesses a student’s ability to recognize and differentiate news and opinion articles in an online format.
Twitter has become a powerful source of information about breaking news. Surveys show that young people increasingly rely on it for news about events as they unfold in real time. But it’s not always easy to distinguish a tweet that’s based on a legitimate source from one that relies on hearsay. This assessment taps a student’s ability to assess the trustworthiness of different kinds of tweets.