We live in a time where there is so much information that it can be hard to make sense of it all. One source says one thing and another says something else completely different about the same topic!
The goal of these lessons is to help students develop the life skill of learning to think clearly and logically when they consume the news. They will learn to cut through the opinions inserted in the news, find the facts, and make up their own minds. Students will become informed members of their community and learn to make the decisions they need to about their lives.
How the Media Bias Lessons Work
There are 23 lessons that contain vocabulary cards, links to videos and articles, and a task to complete each day. Students will often be asked to explore news articles and answer questions to compare and contrast articles, think about the author’s intent, look for bias, and verify sources. They will be asked to read from news sources across the political spectrum…those that lean left, those in the center, and those that lean right.
Students will start by learning about the media and news business, who writes the news, and the parts of a news article. Then, they will start to learn about factual vs. opinion pieces and practice differentiating the two. Next, they will learn to verify sources in the articles and identify a variety of types of bias in the news. There is a crossword after each section for students to review the concepts they have learned.
These lessons will take approximately 30-60 minutes depending on how much research the student chooses to do and how many rabbit trails they wander down. 🙂 Many of the lessons can be repeated to get extra practice with a particular skill. You can create your own schedule for completing the lessons. You could do one lesson a week and stretch them out over several months or do 2-3 a week and complete them in a shorter period of time.
Most high school students will be able to complete the lessons independently and then discuss their findings with another person. Parents/teachers should plan to work through the lessons along side their middle schoolers. These lessons can really be a great family project as we all could use some more practice searching through the bias in the news and finding the facts!