TeachersFirst's Student Knowledge Construction

Student knowledge construction is what happens when students go beyond just reproducing what they have learned, but generate their own ideas and demonstrate understanding of what makes the information unique. The skills of knowledge construction range from inferring to analysis to interpretation to synthesis and evaluation. Many of these skills may also be considered “critical thinking.” While teaching these skills can be a challenge, finding useful web resources can be simple. Peruse this collection to find resources to use in your lessons for all grade levels to encourage student knowledge construction. 

   

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Open-Ended Social Studies - Thomas Kenning

Grades
6 to 12
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Open-Ended History is an Open Educational Resource (OER) textbook designed to foster critical and historical thinking skills through interactive content. Find resources related to the...more
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Open-Ended History is an Open Educational Resource (OER) textbook designed to foster critical and historical thinking skills through interactive content. Find resources related to the United States and World History in many ways: browse lessons by concept, country, films, travel writing, or search the library of lessons by keyword. The lessons are designed to be used by students and include many hyperlinks, images, and videos that support the included content. In addition to the teaching materials, this site contains a beneficial blog with content that supports the site's philosophy, which is to teach students through a broader world lens.

tag(s): 1600s (17), 1700s (34), 1800s (61), 20th century (48), american revolution (74), civil war (128), colonial america (93), colonization (18), gettysburg (16), gettysburg address (13), native americans (85), OER (43), washington (23), westward expansion (36)

In the Classroom

This site is an excellent addition to any middle or high school social studies curriculum. Bookmark this site to include with your other lesson resources. Use individual lessons to supplement your lessons through a new viewpoint since many of the tasks encourage students to think of history through the eyes of a traveler. Each lesson begins with a series of focus questions to keep in mind throughout the article. Engage students in learning and provide support for focusing on important information using Read Ahead, reviewed here. This handy tool lets you transform any text into a guided reading activity that highlights critical components of the text. As students collaborate on learning activities, enhance learning by using Notejoy, reviewed here, as a collaborative note-taking tool. Ask students to add the preview questions listed before the lesson and any other focus points, then share ideas and responses in Notejoy throughout the reading and discussions of the content. As a final learning extension, ask students to use Open-Ended History as a model for telling history through the eyes of a storyteller or from the perspective of one location. Use History in Motion, reviewed here, to create interactive timelines using animated maps. Include text descriptions, images, and videos as part of your interactive timelines.
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Digital Citizenship: Technological Literacy - PBS Learning Media

Grades
K to 12
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Proper use and understanding of using technology responsibly are essential for all students to acquire. This offering from PBS Learning Media focuses on Digital Citizenship concerning...more
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Proper use and understanding of using technology responsibly are essential for all students to acquire. This offering from PBS Learning Media focuses on Digital Citizenship concerning technological literacy. Each of the fifty-three included videos helps students understand concepts such as understanding the role of influencers on social media, editorial accuracy, and why many people are susceptible to disinformation. Each video is relatively short in length, running from around five to fifteen minutes. Look for the icon with "SM" located at the bottom of some of the descriptions; these videos include additional support materials for use in the classroom.

tag(s): digital citizenship (79), internet safety (109), journalism (69), social media (47)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many videos and resources found on this site to include with your digital citizenship lessons. Engage students in learning about digital citizenship using playposit, reviewed here, to add notes, questions, and student-teacher interactions to any video. Enhance the learning experience by including these videos and your other resources into a digital lesson using Blendspace, reviewed here. Extend learning by asking students to share their learning using different technology tools. For example, have some students create a podcast using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, while others create and share video presentations made with Animoto, reviewed here.
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Resources to Nurture Critical Thinking - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Nurture critical thinking skills in your classroom using the resources shared in this collection. Critical thinking is a process that includes the ability to interpret, analyze, and...more
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Nurture critical thinking skills in your classroom using the resources shared in this collection. Critical thinking is a process that includes the ability to interpret, analyze, and evaluate information. Thinking critically requires students to infer and solve problems with an open mind. Students use critical thinking skills to observe, experience, communicate and reflect while reading and learning content. As contentious public events spill over into the classroom, teachers need to help students learn how to process perspectives that differ from their own. Use this collection as you are planning your lessons and activities.

tag(s): critical thinking (104), media literacy (90), problem solving (219)

In the Classroom

Help your students to practice critical thinking skills using these engaging resources. Share these resources with your colleagues and school parents by emailing the page or sharing the link from your school web page and in your school newsletter.

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OK2Ask: Social Media Literacy: Purposeful Practice in Every Classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from October 2021. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

As educators, we
...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from October 2021. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

As educators, we can prepare every child to be influential by helping them understand how to leverage the power of social media. While students intuitively understand the mechanics of social media platforms, using them in a responsible, purposeful way to build influence is not instinctual and must be taught and practiced. Learn to develop your students' social media savvy by using practice spaces focused on digital citizenship, critical thinking, persuasion, and communication skills. Explore online and offline strategies and tools to create safe, authentic learning experiences for students in grades 2-12 in any content area. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Learn the importance of responsible social media use by students; 2. Understand the purpose of using social media practice spaces as part of regular instruction; and 3. Explore both paper-based and digital practice spaces that can be used with students. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): digital citizenship (79), professional development (314), social media (47), student-centered (4)

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.

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Problem-Based Learning Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Problem-based learning is a curriculum design method that offers learners challenging, open-ended problems. The hands-on learning activities offer investigations of real-world problems....more
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Problem-based learning is a curriculum design method that offers learners challenging, open-ended problems. The hands-on learning activities offer investigations of real-world problems. Problem-based learning allows students to develop lifelong learning skills, gain work-place readiness, and improve team-work and cooperative learning strategies. View this collection to begin your journey with problem-based learning in your classroom.

tag(s): Problem Based Learning (12), problem solving (219), STEM (228)

In the Classroom

Help your students to practice problem-solving skills using these engaging resources. Share these resources with your colleagues and school parents by emailing the page or sharing the link from your school web page and in your school newsletter.

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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 (18), journalism (69), media literacy (90), news (230), social media (47)

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.
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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 (104), debate (38), inquiry (23), media literacy (90), news (230), persuasive writing (54), Research (65)

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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The Big6 - Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz

Grades
K to 12
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The Big6 provides training and resources based on the Big6 model for problem-solving and decision making. This site also includes information for incorporating the Super3 model into...more
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The Big6 provides training and resources based on the Big6 model for problem-solving and decision making. This site also includes information for incorporating the Super3 model into the decision making process for younger students. Follow the Big6 blog as a means to stay current on the latest ideas and information related to using the Big6 model in and away from the classroom. The Big6 Resources link shares detailed information on the Big6 model along with an overview of incorporating the model as a structured month by month program. The included instructional materials include handouts, presentations, videos, and additional support materials for you to learn about and teach the Big6 model strategies.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): problem solving (219), teaching strategies (35)

In the Classroom

Share ideas from this site with peers as part of your professional development sessions. Consider creating a monthly building-wide schedule using the suggestions provided on the site. Include your ideas with parents through your website to teach them along with you and your students on methods for working through any type of decision. Use technology resources to reinforce and reflect upon the Big6 and Super3 decision-making processes. For example, use Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here to create digital posters for each of the strategies. Include suggestions on ways for students to be successful within each strategy. Provide resources for students to match strategies such as planning. Read Write Think, reviewed here, has a large number of student interactives including a Cube Creator, reviewed here, Book Cover Creator, reviewed here, and an Essay Map, reviewed here, that provides students assistance in planning writing assignments. As students learn about and become familiar with the Big6 and Super3 process, ask them to share their ideas and reflect upon learning using blogs created with Edublog, reviewed here. Have students share their knowledge with others using a video explainer tool like simpleshow video maker, reviewed here. Be sure to share student reflections and explainers on your class website for parents and others to view!
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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 (69), media literacy (90), news (230)

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, 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.
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Media Literacy Clearinghouse - Frank W Baker

Grades
6 to 12
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Media Literacy Clearinghouse provides resources for teaching about media and media literacy using teaching standards and non-print, media texts. Browse through the site to find the...more
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Media Literacy Clearinghouse provides resources for teaching about media and media literacy using teaching standards and non-print, media texts. Browse through the site to find the latest information, or search by type of media or concepts. Use the teaching standards link to find content sorted by topics including health, math and science, art, and social studies.

tag(s): advertising (23), journalism (69), media literacy (90)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as an excellent resource for planning for and teaching about media literacy. Include information from the Clearinghouse using lessons created with Actively Learn , reviewed here. Actively Learn offers tools for creating interactive, critical thinking lessons using materials found on their site and your own while providing you feedback on student responses and learning. As you continue with lessons on media literacy, collaborate with students on how to interpret online information using Fiskkit, reviewed here. Use Fiskkit to replace paper and pencil by sharing the URL of online articles and have students highlight and comment on any areas. Use this in lessons asking students to identify false or misleading information or to highlight areas that provide facts and information to support a claim. As students become familiar with online cues for understanding media, ask them to use Free Screen Recorder Online, reviewed here, to modify classroom technology use by creating a short video tutorial of their own sharing insights and information from an online article.
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Read. Inquire. Write. - University of Michigan

Grades
6 to 10
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Read. Inquire. Write. is a free curriculum using investigations to support middle school social studies learning through inquiry-based lessons; also, this site provides many supports...more
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Read. Inquire. Write. is a free curriculum using investigations to support middle school social studies learning through inquiry-based lessons; also, this site provides many supports for English Language Learners within the activities. Use the provided literacy tools to guide students in analytical reasoning and argument writing within the 5-day investigations. Each investigation includes all materials needed including teacher's guides, student packets, rubrics, student models, and a PowerPoint presentation. Also, all activities provide video models demonstrating methods to encourage student thinking and investigative responses. Each lesson includes correlation to Common Core Standards. Registration is required to download materials from this site. Videos reside on YouTube. If your school blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): civil war (128), colonial america (93), concept mapping (16), debate (38), democracy (17), evaluating sources (13), greece (25), inquiry (23), maps (211), mexico (30), middle east (43), native americans (85)

In the Classroom

Instead of using paper documents, scan the included PDF or Word documents into Google Classroom or your school student/teacher platform to share and assign to students. Be sure to include mentor texts for student use. Enhance student learning by asking students to use highlighting and note-taking tools within their word document to provide documentation for their responses. Although this site includes many high-quality graphic organizers, create your own and using Diagramo, reviewed here, to personalize for your classroom use. Have students use a digital portfolio tool to share their investigations. PorfolioVillage, reviewed here, includes many resources for creating online portfolios and web pages. Consider sharing the activities found on this site with your peers as a model for redesigning lessons you already use in your classroom. 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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Fake It To Make It Game - Amanda Warner

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn about how and why fake news is created and distributed with this game where players earn money by spreading false news. Begin by selecting a guide for the game ...more
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Learn about how and why fake news is created and distributed with this game where players earn money by spreading false news. Begin by selecting a guide for the game and choosing a financial goal. Follow the game to create your site and choose from different payment and options for monetizing information, while at the same time working toward optimum credibility. As the game continues, players select options for sharing their fake news to gain the maximum number of shares and likes. Throughout the game, follow your progress to your financial goal chosen at the beginning of the activity.

tag(s): journalism (69), news (230), newspapers (90), problem solving (219)

In the Classroom

More than ever, understanding the use of media to manipulate readers is a critical skill. Use this game as a supplement to lessons on verifying news sources and fact-checking. Help students discover trigger words found in fake news articles by creating lists of sensational words. Replace word lists with a word cloud creator like Wordsift, reviewed here, to help visualize the use of trigger words found in online news. Have students find fake news online to analyze for misrepresentations of facts. Instead of doing this as a pencil and paper project, ask students to transform their learning and use ThingLink, reviewed here, to share an image of the article and add links, images, and videos to "debunk" false information. As students become more familiar with recognizing fake news, have them use a comic creation tool like ToonyTool, reviewed here, to modify their learning by creating single frame cartoons with tips for avoiding false information then share these comics on your class or school webpage.

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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 Classroom 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 (74), climate change (80), critical thinking (104), environment (220), martin luther king (40), media literacy (90), middle east (43), nutrition (133), OER (43), presidents (115), russia (33), social media (47)

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 by using Word Ahead, reviewed here, or WordSift, reviewed here, to introduce and develop vocabulary as a prereading strategy or older students can use either as they are reading. Incorporate images with annotations to help students understand "big picture" ideas using Image Annotator, reviewed here. For younger students create a Image Annotator as a class to add text, video, and more to images. Ask older students to create their own Image Annotator 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!
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Case Maker - Bean Creative

Grades
6 to 8
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Case Maker is a collection of 20 civics challenges for middle school students. Share individual challenges with students using the provided Challenge Code. Once students access the...more
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Case Maker is a collection of 20 civics challenges for middle school students. Share individual challenges with students using the provided Challenge Code. Once students access the challenge, the site offers tools for adding annotations and creating case folders. Once complete, students use information as a reference for other assignments or share their work using the site's presentation mode feature. Use your free Case Maker account to modify text and associated primary sources within challenges and follow student progress. Be sure to watch the introductory videos for teachers and students.

tag(s): black history (101), civil rights (170), constitution (84), democracy (17), elections (75), freedom of speech (12), immigrants (30), immigration (61), inquiry (23), media literacy (90), politics (106), racism (70), Research (65), world war 2 (138)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free materials on this site to encourage debate and discussion within your current civics lessons and lessons on civil rights and racism. Introduce Case Maker by showing the class the student introductory video. Each lesson includes primary sources to use when responding to prompts; ask students to find and share additional primary sources to include in their response to each question. Instead of just creating a list of additional resources, engage students and augment classroom technology use by sharing additional resources using Padlet, reviewed here. Padlet offers features for adding comments; ask students to use this feature to indicate important information found on the document. Enhance learning by finding and sharing videos that support the topic being discussed. Use Edpuzzle, reviewed here, to add comments and question prompts for students. Upon completing student projects, extend learning by having stidents share their thoughts through a podcast featuring students' challenge solutions. Be sure to include a group of students in each podcast featuring various points of view and their backup documentation. Try using Acast, reviewed here, to create student podcasts.

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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 (104), cyberbullying (41), digital citizenship (79), evaluating sources (13), internet safety (109), media literacy (90), news (230), primary sources (104), professional development (314), social media (47)

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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Data Games - Scientific Research Reasoning Institute (SRRI)

Grades
4 to 12
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Data Games is an online game with a unique twist. Throughout each game, data is stored allowing players to analyze data following play. Videos offer explanations on how to play ...more
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Data Games is an online game with a unique twist. Throughout each game, data is stored allowing players to analyze data following play. Videos offer explanations on how to play and use the data to increase the odds of winning. Some games feature popular strategy games like Rock, Paper, Scissors, and shuffleboard.

tag(s): charts and graphs (165), data (133), logic (164), probability (95), problem solving (219), puzzles (142)

In the Classroom

Share games on classroom computers for students to play as a math center on probability. Have students locate and share other online probability games using a bookmarking tool like Diigo, reviewed here. Ask students to share their data and analysis using an online video tool like Flip, reviewed here. On Flip, have them respond to their peers and discuss similarities and differences in their data collection. Create an interactive class book using Book Creator, reviewed here, to share findings from each of the games, including video of gameplay, pictures of data results, and charts to share student findings.

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Extreme Event - Koshland Science Museum

Grades
8 to 12
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Extreme Event is a crisis problem-solving game for groups of 12 or more players with a minimum age of 12 years old. Facilitators set up a room and time for ...more
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Extreme Event is a crisis problem-solving game for groups of 12 or more players with a minimum age of 12 years old. Facilitators set up a room and time for participants, and games typically take about an hour to complete. Choose from three scenarios - hurricane, flood, or earthquake. Download all game materials from the site including PDF cards, sounds, and visual effects. The videos in the classroom activity section reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. Extreme Event made changes to the game and the game materials. Be sure you download the new materials to play.

tag(s): critical thinking (104), disasters (37), earthquakes (45), floods (10), game based learning (167), hurricanes (34), logic (164), problem solving (219)

In the Classroom

Use the materials found on Extreme Event as a hands-on lesson in problem-solving, short and long term planning, and building community. Use an online tool such as Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast different strategies needed to solve problems in different crisis situations. Challenge students to create a brochure or newsletter sharing their findings. Are you integrating technology in your class? Instead of the traditional paper brochure, enhance student learning by using Marq, reviewed here, or if you are more experienced use Sway, reviewed here, and create a newsletter. If you complete this activity with different classes, share results from the different games as part of your discussions on your problem-solving decisions.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Believe It or Not? - NewseumED

Grades
8 to 12
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Use the lessons, discussion questions, and news articles provided by NewseumEd to help young adults understand what media literacy is and to tell the difference between good and bad...more
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Use the lessons, discussion questions, and news articles provided by NewseumEd to help young adults understand what media literacy is and to tell the difference between good and bad information. Though the lessons seem to center around a visit to Newseum and their galleries, there is a lot to be learned just by examining and discussing the materials presented here. There are discussion questions, media issues to think about, suggested in-class activities, and worksheets. Find a Unit plan with lessons that are standards aligned and Common Core compatible. The Unit plan and worksheets are available in both PDF and Word document formats. You must be a registered NewseumEd member to access this resource; however, membership is free.

tag(s): media literacy (90), news (230)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lessons, discussion questions, sample articles, and worksheets offered for use in your classroom. Divide students into small groups and assign different discussion questions and activities to each group. Allow all older students to have a voice (and engage their interest) in the small group by using a chat service like Flock, reviewed here. Enhance learning by challenging the small groups to create a slide presentation using the free Microsoft PowerPoint Online, reviewed here, demonstrating information learned. With the online PowerPoint students can add videos, images and documents making them all interactive. Note: with Flock students can also start planning the presentation and keep the plan for 30 days. If you cannot make a field trip to the Newseum for the Gallery Guide Handout, you can do a Google search for Who Controls the News and find many free resources.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Tough Choices - Bill Chapman

Grades
9 to 12
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Tough Choices offers resources for small groups to discuss ethical real world problems, both past and present. Four different simulations present ethical dilemmas such as those facing...more
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Tough Choices offers resources for small groups to discuss ethical real world problems, both past and present. Four different simulations present ethical dilemmas such as those facing juries and a transplant committee. Also, find links to additional lessons and reading material.

tag(s): character education (74), debate (38), persuasive writing (54), problem solving (219)

In the Classroom

Use materials from this site when working with debate groups. Take advantage of the ideas on this site for persuasive writing ideas. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare different points of view. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration.

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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." Click Guides from the top menu to find topics. 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. Find "Activity Packs," "Lesson Plans," and more under Resources on the top menu. 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 (23), critical thinking (104), evaluating sources (13), media literacy (90), politics (106), propaganda (9), questioning (30)

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. Perhaps show your students a sample infographic from the Resources menu at the top.

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