Looking for some info on integrating news literacy curriculum into English Language Arts course. Any thoughts?
NewsLit Nation Forum
Any examples on how to integrate news literacy into my ELA course?
My first essay of the semester focuses on Media Bias. The basics of the assignment are to find 3 different media outlets/sources reporting/posting about the same story/event. Look for a source biased in one direction/manner, a 2nd source biased in a different direction (doesn't have to be opposite - but can be) and a 3rd source that has no bias (or as little bias as humanly possible). Read each source's version of what happened and compare and contrast the accounts, identifying the biases seen in the biased accounts and the effects those biased statements may have on an audience. The essay is only 4 pages in length, so it is limited in scope, but it does set the focus for the rest of the semester to check information and sources.
I've seen educators use one of the 14 Checkology lessons to integrate news literacy into their ELA courses. I've also noticed some educators incorporating the Informable App into their curricula as well. How are you all using NLP resources in ELA classes?
VP, Educator Network
I have helped educators use it in correlation with units around information and non-fiction. Additionally, many of the components of trying to create a News Literate class of kids is based on skills that live within the ELA realm. For example, author's bias, fact vs. opinion, evaluating the validity of sources, confirmation bias, how to "research," and even observation skills that are low inference.
I want to second @ihomer. I used it personally as part of a research unit in conjunction with some Stanford Education Group materials on civic literacy. My students came out with far stronger research skills, which, fortunately for admin support, was reflected on state testing.
I teach a whole media literacy unit in my 8th-grade ELA class. This year, I used several of the Checkology lessons, but I also have activities and lessons I've developed on my own. (I also teach journalism and have a degree in journalism.) One activity I have them do is read three news stories on the same topic from three different websites that lean differently on the political spectrum (such as one from the Washington Post, one from USA Today, and one from the Washington Times, for example). Then they make a chart comparing and contrasting the articles. What were the main news facts given in each? What information was included in one story but left out of another? Who were the sources for each story and what quotes did the reporter use from those sources? What was the angle of each story? I find this to be a great activity in an ELA classroom because it promotes close reading of text but also gets students thinking critically about information dissemination and how news can be shaped depending on the source.
Oh, and forgot to add that since research is starting to show that if people know and understand how fake/misleading news is created, they are less susceptible to it, my culminating project/performance task for the unit is that they work in teams to create their own "fake news" stories about our school. They have to pick a topic they think others might believe, and they interview sources and try to get believable fake quotes. They have options to create news videos and social media posts related to it, and then they present their stories to the class, and we discuss how believable the stories are and what grade levels at our school might believe them; we're a K-8 school. (Last year, I had a group who created a story that we were going to start a hockey team at our school and the Vegas Golden Knights were going to let us use their practice facility for our practices - plausible as it's very close to our school. Pretty much the entire 5th grade believed it and spread the rumor that it was true. LOL)
I would encourage discussing the importance of logic-checking and logical fallacies as well as evaluating tone and language in persuasive writing.
The attached image is a good example. You can fact-check these maps and discover they are accurate but you also need to logic-check the claim and whether these maps prove it.
Hi, all. Shaelynn here from NLP. Former ELA teacher and infused news literacy concepts and curricula in a variety of ways. Definitely a natural fit for any informational, argumentative, or research paper/unit. I also used it with my AP students when dissecting hate rhetoric found online. And any paired text sets that include themes and concepts found in contemporary work, multimodal texts, and current events!