Critical observation challenge: Was Elsa really arrested?

Grades: 4-6

This upper elementary slideshow activity introduces students to “critical observation skills,” or the ability to identify key elements in a piece of visual information text. By closely examining an actual social media post by a police department in Illinois about the “arrest” of Elsa from Disney’s Frozen, students identify evidence indicating that the photos and claims in the post are misleading. Students also consider and discuss the primary purpose of the post and what led to people’s confusion.

Essential questions

  • How can social media posts be misunderstood?
  • Why are critical observation skills important when using social media?
  • What problems can arise when people take a joke on social media seriously?
  • How can a joke fail on social media?

This news literacy classroom activity is suggested for grades 4-6.

Key terms

  • Critical observation
  • Evidence
  • Purpose


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