TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Nov 15, 2020

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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Preparing Students for Difficult Conversations - FacingHistory.org

Grades
6 to 12
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This lesson provides a foundation for creating a safe and supportive classroom to discuss difficult issues. It is part of a larger unit based upon the shooting of Michael Brown ...more
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This lesson provides a foundation for creating a safe and supportive classroom to discuss difficult issues. It is part of a larger unit based upon the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the racial tension that followed the shooting. Although the focus is on Ferguson, easily use this example lesson with any other difficult topics. This lesson includes a video, student materials, and additional resources, including supplemental articles to use in discussions.

tag(s): civil rights (142), journalism (71), media literacy (89), racism (58), social media (43)

In the Classroom

As an introduction to the lesson, one of the activities is to ask students to brainstorm a list of teens' news resources and a list of news resources used by parents or older people. Use Microsoft Whiteboard, reviewed here, or Google Jamboard, reviewed here, to create and analyze your lists. Use the whiteboard tools to create lists, Venn Diagrams, and add notes to extend student reflections on different news sources. Turn the Know-Heard-Learned Chart included in the lesson into an editable worksheet to use as a collaborative document to record student understanding of any events' timeline. Learn how at this archived recording of an OK2Ask professional learning session.

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News and Media Literacy Resource Center - Common Sense Media

Grades
6 to 12
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This collection of vetted resources provides activities and lessons for current news and social discussion topics. In addition to materials found for specific lessons, scroll further...more
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This collection of vetted resources provides activities and lessons for current news and social discussion topics. In addition to materials found for specific lessons, scroll further down the page to find curated collections for news and literacy, media literacy, and social and cultural literacy. Each collection includes regularly updated resources specially chosen to reinforce and practice each literacy skill. Pay particular attention to activities with a green heart icon; these are the site's favorite resources.

tag(s): bias (15), journalism (71), media literacy (89), news (256), social media (43)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to take advantage of the many curated resources for teaching media and news literacy. Use a curation tool like Padlet, reviewed here, to save and share favorite resources found on this site with students. Use the shelf option in Padlet to create columns and organize information by topic, type of content, or for use by different groups of students. Enhance instruction by asking students to become creators of information as they share their learning. Have students use Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to create infographics to demonstrate different forms of media bias or to share facts learned from news articles. Extend learning even further by asking students to create blogs using Edublogs, reviewed here, to demonstrate how to write and share the news using credible information and factual resources.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

This is such a valuable resource and it's so helpful to have one collection that I know has been vetted with accurate, useful information that teachers can use for themselves as well as with their students. I also love the "In the Classroom" section with suggestions for ways to use the information and resources. Peggy, AZ, Grades: 0 - 8

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Thinkalong - Conneticut Public

Grades
6 to 12
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Improve and build students' critical thinking skills, debate skills, and media literacy using Thinkalong. Present students with provocative questions such as "Should performance-enhancing...more
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Improve and build students' critical thinking skills, debate skills, and media literacy using Thinkalong. Present students with provocative questions such as "Should performance-enhancing drugs be allowed in professional sports? Should schools provide a laptop and internet for every student? Should social media companies be allowed to sell your data?" to name a few of the many topics. Topics focus on science, social studies, and current events. After clicking a topic, find three main categories: Teachers (a teacher's guide), Investigate (usually a graphic organizer), and Contemplate (question the authorship, format, audience purpose, etc.). However, that's not all! Under those categories, you'll find even move resources listed as Watch, Listen, Think Deep, and Contemplate (deeper thinking questions about the message); after all this, students have the opportunity to test their opinions through a structured debate in class or online with another class. Although the resource states it's for middle school students, these lessons could easily be adapted for high school.

tag(s): critical thinking (117), debate (45), inquiry (34), media literacy (89), news (256)

In the Classroom

Whether teaching in a classroom or online, scan the included PDF or Word documents into Google Classroom or your school student/teacher platform to share and assign to students. Enhance student learning by asking students to use highlighting and note-taking tools within their word document to provide documentation for their responses. To prepare students for Common Core Assessments on evidence and arguments, have them choose a popular topic, research it (with the materials provided) so they can provide evidence for their stance when writing about their opinion or to refute another's. The debate section is the perfect opportunity to teach students about countering an opposing opinion, deciding which is the strongest point, and then teach them how to address concerns of others in their writing or debate. For example, they can concede it is a valid point and then counter with another strong argument. Consider sharing the activities found on this site with your peers as a model for redesigning lessons you already use in your classroom (for online learning during absences and crises?). Use Padlet, reviewed here, to collaborate and share ideas, activities, and resources as you work toward incorporating inquiry lessons into your classrooms.

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OK2Ask: Facts Are Facts...Aren't They? - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from October 2019 opens in Adobe Connect. Do your digital natives suffer from "digital naivete"? They may be fluent...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from October 2019 opens in Adobe Connect. Do your digital natives suffer from "digital naivete"? They may be fluent enough with technology to create and post their work, but not be aware that everyone who posts online isn't credible. Teaching students to sift through multiple sets of "facts" allows them to learn the difference between propaganda, advertising, and factual reporting. This is a skill that students need in order to be truly digitally literate. In an age of instant information, students need to know how to tell if they can trust a source of information. Join us to learn strategies for helping them. Participants will: 1. Explore tools and strategies for teaching media literacy; 2. Learn strategies that promote critical examination of online resources; and 3. Plan a learning activity that fosters digital literacy. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): digital citizenship (79), media literacy (89), professional development (267)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Research Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This curated list of resources provides free tools related to research. Today's students must learn the valuable skill of research. Research will be required in future studies, and...more
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This curated list of resources provides free tools related to research. Today's students must learn the valuable skill of research. Research will be required in future studies, and possibly a future career. Research requires planning, execution, and digging deep. Students must learn to raise the right questions about what they are listening to, watching, or reading. They must learn how to decipher quality research from mediocre and find the best places for GOOD research. This collection of resources includes lesson ideas, activities, and resources for teaching research skills.

tag(s): citations (35), inquiry (34), media literacy (89), Research (45), summarizing (17)

In the Classroom

Use these tools to help students to understand research, summarizing, citations, and more. Find tools for students to use to research when doing projects or studying for an exam.

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NewsFeed Defenders - FactCheck.org

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn how to find and deal with disinformation and misinformation through this news media literacy game. Players find and identify factual portions of a news story along with misinformation....more
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Learn how to find and deal with disinformation and misinformation through this news media literacy game. Players find and identify factual portions of a news story along with misinformation. Begin by choosing a topic of interest to start your mission. Your goal is to build up your integrity as much as possible throughout the game. Login to your free teacher account to access and print lesson plans and the teacher extension pack.

tag(s): journalism (71), media literacy (89), news (256)

In the Classroom

Include the NewsFeed Defenders game and lesson as part of your broader unit of teaching about online safety and media literacy. Engage studets by using Padlet, reviewed here, to share materials. Include links to videos, articles, and other materials for students to access. Ask them to add comments sharing their insights and information learned. Help students identify online disinformation by collaborating with Fiskkit, reviewed here. Change out paper and pen by sharing the URL of an article to discuss within Fiskkit, then have students highlight any area to discuss the information within the article. Enhance learning by encouraging students to teach others about media literacy using an online book tool like Book Creator (Chrome and iPad app). Book Creator, reviewed here. Book Creator can be used for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement, modification, or transformation. Have students design and share a book that includes tips for spotting disinformation or bias using specific examples, including text, videos, and images, along with examples of factual, non-biased information.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Project Look Sharp - Project Look Sharp, Ithaca College

Grades
K to 12
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Project Look Sharp promotes media literacy education and critical thinking skills through the offering of curriculum kits for classrooms in grades K-12; to find the kits click the Free...more
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Project Look Sharp promotes media literacy education and critical thinking skills through the offering of curriculum kits for classrooms in grades K-12; to find the kits click the Free Materials button. The free kits include teacher guides, handouts, assessments, and correlating digital media. Browse through all available kits, or filter by grade level or Common Core Standard. Each kit is available for download in its entirety or download individual lessons as desired; registration is required. Lesson contents cover a variety of topics including Global Warming, Presidential Campaigns, and Social Justice. Be sure to look through other sections of the site including professional development information and links to handouts from Project Look Sharp's presentations.

tag(s): american revolution (85), climate change (71), critical thinking (117), environment (295), martin luther king (33), media literacy (89), middle east (44), nutrition (166), OER (33), presidents (128), russia (35), social media (43)

In the Classroom

Become acquainted with these free curriculum kits and lessons to integrate media literacy within content already taught in the classroom. As you teach lessons found on the site, incorporate technology to enhance learning and build student understanding. Use Vocabulary.com, reviewed here, to introduce and develop vocabulary during individual activities. This tool allows you to enhance classroom technology use and create assignments using individual vocabulary lists then provide feedback and options for student revisions and peer feedback. Incorporate images with annotations to help students understand "big picture" ideas using ThingLink, reviewed here. For younger students create a ThingLink together as a class to add text, video, and more to images. Ask older students to create their own ThingLink sharing information learned throughout your lessons. Be sure to share all of your images on your class website for students to view at any time. To transform classroom technology use and as a culminating activity, use a digital book creation tool like Book Creator, reviewed here, as an alternative assessment to quizzes or tests. Include student-created writing, ThingLink images, and add videos with student commentary within each book. Be sure to provide students with your rubric to use as a guide before turning in digital books. Find many ideas for implementing rubrics for assessment along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue, reviewed here. Whether students work individually or in groups, be sure to share your new digital library related to your lesson topic with students to review and revisit at any time!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Media Literacy - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Peruse this curated list to find resources related to media literacy. Media literacy is a set of skills that help people to analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a wide ...more
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Peruse this curated list to find resources related to media literacy. Media literacy is a set of skills that help people to analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres, and formats. To become media literate, students must learn to raise the right questions about what they are listening to, watching, or reading. Media literacy education is about helping students become competent, critical, and literate in all media forms so that they can appropriately interpret what they see or hear rather than blindly accepting what they are told. This collection of resources includes lesson ideas, activities, and resources for teaching media literacy skills. Be sure also to check out the media literacy professional learning resources.

tag(s): critical thinking (117), cyberbullying (48), digital citizenship (79), evaluating sources (17), internet safety (121), media literacy (89), news (256), primary sources (102), professional development (267), social media (43)

In the Classroom

Today's messages come in many forms and literacy can no longer refer simply to the ability to read and write. Prepare your students to be literate citizens with this collection. Many are ideal for whole-group instruction, while others would work best on individual devices. Read the reviews to find classroom use ideas with each review. Although the list of tools is mainly geared towards grades 4-8, there are a few resources for the primary grades.

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KQED Media Literacy Courses - KQED Teach

Grades
K to 12
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KQED offers several free, self-paced courses for expanding media literacy skills. Topics for the classroom include Video Production, Analyzing and Evaluating Media, Podcasting and Audio...more
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KQED offers several free, self-paced courses for expanding media literacy skills. Topics for the classroom include Video Production, Analyzing and Evaluating Media, Podcasting and Audio Production, and Graphic and Interactive Media Production. Choose any course description to view what is included in the modules and lessons in addition to the length of time to complete. All courses include interaction with an online community to share and learn together.

tag(s): media literacy (89), professional development (267)

In the Classroom

Gain a better understanding of media literacy tools by taking KQED's professional development courses. Participate in classes on your own or with colleagues as part of your ongoing professional development. Begin any of the self-paced courses anytime and complete them at your own pace.

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Youth Radio - National Science Foundation

Grades
8 to 12
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Youth Radio offers training and resources for students to learn how to produce marketable media for large audiences. Listen to student podcasts created through the tutelage of Youth...more
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Youth Radio offers training and resources for students to learn how to produce marketable media for large audiences. Listen to student podcasts created through the tutelage of Youth Radio mentors. Features include discussions on current events, tech, health, and much more. Choose the menu bar on the top left to find many free lessons on how to use storytelling resources. These excellent lessons include videos and links to all printable materials required for teaching the lesson. The DIY Tools link features podcasts allowing young students to share their feelings, explore their passions, and build connections through creative projects. Preview topics before you share as some many not be appropriate for your classroom, depending on the age and maturity level of your students.

tag(s): digital storytelling (141), journalism (71), media literacy (89), podcasts (62), radio (26)

In the Classroom

Share student-created podcasts found on Youth Radio for use as a model during digital storytelling lessons. Take advantage of the free lessons offered on the site for use in your classroom. Share a link on your class website for students to explore and find podcasts that interest them. After listening to these student podcasts, have cooperative learning groups create podcasts of their own. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Before creating their own podcast, have students create a storyboard using a tool like Story Map, reviewed here. They will also need to develop a script and practice. Try using Google Docs, reviewed here, for students to write collaboratively.

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This is one of the best sites on the web for engaging teens in the world around them. The "Teacher Resources" are phenomenal. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Ask for Evidence - askforevidence.org

Grades
8 to 12
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Ask for Evidence steps in to find the facts behind product claims. Browse through stories for information on questions such as "Should we be Worried about 'Dirty' Stethoscopes?" or...more
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Ask for Evidence steps in to find the facts behind product claims. Browse through stories for information on questions such as "Should we be Worried about 'Dirty' Stethoscopes?" or "Claims about Cancer Fighting Foods." Create an account to ask your own questions. Be sure to view the "Understand Evidence" part of the site to find invaluable resources about how to find and understand reliable evidence. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from American English. Note: topics included may not all be classroom appropriate. Select and share specific articles if you are sharing this site with young people.

tag(s): advertising (33), critical thinking (117), evaluating sources (17), media literacy (89), politics (105), propaganda (11), questioning (36)

In the Classroom

Use this site when discussing political or advertising claims with your students. Build critical thinking and questioning skills. Share specific articles with students as young as upper elementary. Share the "Understand Evidence" portion of the site with students before they begin any investigational reports or persuasive writing pieces. Use specific articles rather than the full site with less mature students. This site will give them experience reading informational text on claims they wonder about. Partner weaker readers with others who may be able to help them read the text-heavy articles. Enhance student learning by having students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here.

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Media Smarts - Canada's Centre for Digital and Media Literacy

Grades
6 to 12
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Media Smarts is a comprehensive Canadian site devoted to media literacy and critical thinking skills for children and youth. Browse through several topics such as digital and media...more
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Media Smarts is a comprehensive Canadian site devoted to media literacy and critical thinking skills for children and youth. Browse through several topics such as digital and media literacy to explore articles related to television, Internet, and gender issues. An extensive teacher resource section offers many lessons and resources searchable by grade, subject, and media type. Download lessons in PDF format using links in the lesson description.

tag(s): media literacy (89)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to explore and use with lessons related to digital and media literacy. Share articles on gender and body image with students. Engage students by having them create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here. Enhance learning by having students find examples on T.V. and use an online poster creator, such as PicLits, reviewed here to demonstrate examples. Give students a choice and have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here, instead of the poster.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Republia Times - Lucas Pope

Grades
6 to 12
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Try your hand at newspaper editing for a dystopian community. Explore the limitations of not having a free press. Your task is to select which articles paint a positive picture ...more
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Try your hand at newspaper editing for a dystopian community. Explore the limitations of not having a free press. Your task is to select which articles paint a positive picture of the world by reading a one sentence summary and looking at the headlines. There is a time limit for editing (within 3 virtual days -- about 45 seconds). As the editor, you must make sure the bosses stay happy and also that the public interest is substantial in reading the selected stories. At the end of the given time, editors receive two grades, one on successfully completing the paper and the other on engaging your readers. Editors continue work for three days, each day trying to improve the positive attitude and interest more readers. A threat to the editor adds to the suspense and tension of selecting articles carefully.

tag(s): bias (15), freedom of speech (12), game based learning (160), media literacy (89), newspapers (95), propaganda (11)

In the Classroom

Share this exercise (once) on your interactive whiteboard or projector during a unit on propaganda or while reading a dystopian novel. You can also include it during government/civics units on the power of media and bias. Have students try out editing on individual computers or as a learning station. Enhance student learning by having students use Breaking News Generator, reviewed here, to write imaginary articles that go along with the headlines from two points of view, both positive and negative about the regime. Find headlines from a local paper or the Internet and have students rewrite headlines, changing the feeling of the article from negative to positive or vice versa.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Newspaper Map - newspapermap.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Use this colorful map to locate and read newspapers from around the world. Click on map pins to locate newspapers or search using filters such as languages. Use the key ...more
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Use this colorful map to locate and read newspapers from around the world. Click on map pins to locate newspapers or search using filters such as languages. Use the key to locate newspapers in each language. Yellow pins indicate English language newspapers, Spanish pink, etc. Don't worry if newspapers are not in a language you need. Choose the links provided to translate into one of many options. When ready, click on a pin to go to the newspaper's home website.

tag(s): arabic (17), cross cultural understanding (150), french (85), german (60), japanese (43), media literacy (89), newspapers (95), portuguese (21), russian (24), spanish (110)

In the Classroom

Newspaper Map is a great resource for locating news and culture from around the world. Share with your students to show them different perspectives on world events. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast coverage between two newspapers. After reading and comparing many different articles, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Spark in K-12, Synth, Animatron, Renderforest, and Beautiful.AI. Explore this site during Newspaper in Education week or as part of a unit on the basics of journalistic writing. World language teachers can use newspapers to teach about both language and culture. Have world cultures or social studies students learn about local culture through advertisements and articles and share their findings using a screencast (or screenshots) of the newspaper and talking about their discoveries. A free tool like Screencast-o-matic, reviewed here, or Screencastify (Chrome app), reviewed here, works well for screencasts.

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