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Teachers' Guide to Cranky Uncle - John Cook

Grades
6 to 12
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How do you teach students to understand and build resilience against misinformation? Try using this game created by George Mason University scientist, John Cook, that uses cartoon personifications...more
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How do you teach students to understand and build resilience against misinformation? Try using this game created by George Mason University scientist, John Cook, that uses cartoon personifications of climate science denials. The game is available to play on any browser or download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play. By teaching how others use fake experts and cherry-picking information to spread disinformation, this game engages players as they employ critical thinking skills to build points and learn how to separate fact from myth. The Teacher's Guide features all you need to know to understand how to set up the game for your class, the basic premise and information found in the game, and classroom activities that accompany the game's features.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (165), digital citizenship (70), game based learning (155), internet safety (113), media literacy (82), social media (44)

In the Classroom

Add this game to your toolkit of lessons and activities when teaching Internet safety and media literacy skills. The Teachers' Guide already includes many ideas on integrating the game into classroom lessons and includes using technology to enhance and extend learning. Use these ideas as a starting point to build student engagement and help them understand the real-world applications for the information found in the game. For example, use the suggested Padlet, reviewed here, activity to compile quiz questions as suggested in Activity 5. After completing that activity, have students create their own videos, fake social media posts, or news articles that contain misinformation and create quiz questions for their peers to complete. Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, is an excellent tool for students to use when creating websites, videos, flyers, and infographics. As a final project, and to extend learning, have students share what they learned with others by producing podcasts using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, or digital books for younger students using Book Creator, reviewed here.

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