Because I Say So

{May 16, 2016}   Thing 39: News Literacy

News literacy involves teaching students how to judge the reliability of the many news sources that are available to us now.  This Thing provided a variety of tools and sources to learn more about and to help teach news literacy skills.

A great introduction to the importance of news literacy is the Ted Talk  Finding a cure for newsmosis a civic disease ravaging America: Howard Schneider.  Schneider says there are three questions we should answer every time we engage with the news:  1. Who is giving me this news/is this an independent, accountable source?  2. What do I know/what is the evidence in the story to support the conclusion?  3. What don’t I know/what information is missing?   Along with answering these questions, we need to have the courage to be willing to accept information that challenges our belief system and to be open to information that we don’t like or don’t want to see.  If we can do these things, we can avoid mindless news control or “newsmosis.”

One of the tools in Thing 39 that I would like to begin using with students is Newsela.  This site has news articles written at different reading levels and in Spanish.  This would be so helpful for our ESL students!  Not only are there current events here, but you can find famous speeches such as Frederick Douglass’ “The Hypocrisy of American Slavery” and Susan B. Anthony’s “Women’s Rights to the Suffrage.”   Newsela is also a great resource for text sets, a collection of articles based on a common theme, such as “Play Ball!”  This is a great tool to help a student learn more about a topic they’re interested in and help them develop news literacy skills.


Nice summary of the tools and resources you explored!

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