Sunday, June 4, 2017

FREE SCIENCE LESSON - “How To Spot Bad Science Online and on Social Media”

by UtahRoots
7th - 10th Grade

This resource is used to teach students to recognize evidence of bias or “fake” science news they might encounter on social media and when doing online research. 
#weholdthesetruths #kindnessnation

You will receive:

• A two-sided infographic poster identifying ten signs to look for when analyzing science information for evidence of bias or poor design.

• A card sort activity containing twelve cards which describe fictional examples of social media posts and online articles and news stories. Students sort the cards into three categories: probably biased, possibly biased, and probably not biased, based on evidence in the description. 

• A student worksheet on which they are asked to defend in writing their opinion about the level of bias described on each card. 

Suggestions for Use

• Use the card sort activity and infographic as a warm-up before students are assigned to do research or to read an article of your choice.

• Use the card sort alone as a warm-up or summarization activity for a lesson on bias in science.

• Use the card sort in combination with the writing activity and then discuss (in small groups or whole class) the difference in students’ opinions as to evidence for or against bias on each card. Students may reveal during the discussion some evidence of confirmation bias (being more willing to accept as unbiased writing that appears to support what they already believe). Students may also find that they “weigh” some kinds of evidence more heavily than do other students. 

I highly recommend that you make class sets of cards and laminate them so that you reduce the amount of paper used while improving the durability of the cards. I suggest printing the cards on heavy cardstock paper. 

This flexible low-prep activity is great for an unexpected substitute lesson plan.
Be aware that there is no answer key included because there are no “right” or “wrong” answers for students’ opinions on the level of bias they see in the examples. This is an open-ended activity with a variety of possible student answers. You can use the cards at stations, or in small groups. Or you could print them without cutting and use in conjunction with the worksheet as a homework assignment. 

You might also be interested in my other resources for Literacy in Science including:

Nonfiction Reading Passages Bundle

Foldable Guides for Reading and Writing in Science

Differentiating Written Tests for Secondary Students with Learning Disabilities

Exit Cards for Higher Order Thinking

How to Support Struggling Readers in Secondary Science and Social Studies

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