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Ways to celebrate Constitution Day 2018

Posted by on Aug 18, 2018 in Law and Ethics, News, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

The Scholastic Press Rights Committee is again excited to provide lesson plans and activities to help you celebrate Constitution Day and the First Amendment. Constitution Day recognized Sept. 17 each year, and we have a trove of new and archived lessons and activities to help you raise awareness of the First Amendment’s rights and applications for students.

Take a look at the new lessons:

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What happens when a journalist
gets it wrong?

Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 in Blog, Lessons, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by Jeff Kocur

Title

What happens when a journalist gets it wrong?

Description

Inaccurate reporting is not the same as fake news, but it can carry the same consequence. What are the forces at play that compel journalists to strive for accuracy? How do media organizations stay accountable for the work of their journalists? What happens when a journalist makes a mistake, and what happens when a media outlet loses the trust of its audience and/or advertisers.

Objectives

  • Students will understand free market forces which drive media outlets to strive for accuracy.
  • Students will become familiar with the consequences of inaccurate reporting.
  • Students will research an incident of inaccurate reporting including the responses from the culpable media organization afterward.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
 

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.

 

Length

50 minutes

Materials / resources

Story on CNN reporter resignations

Exit ticket (below)

Lesson step-by-step

  1. Read the attached article as a jump-in reading activity, and have students discuss the following question as a think-pair-share. (15 minutes)

After the information was deemed unreliable, what steps did CNN take to show they

were not purposefully peddling fake news?

  1. After a brief discussion, share that the CNN incident is not by any means the first time a

news organization has been exposed for stories that were inaccurate or blatantly untrue.

         (30 minutes).

Ask the students if they know of any off the top of their heads?

Place your students in groups of four, and share the attached Disgraced journalists slideshow(see the slideshow below) with them. Each group will choose one journalist (make sure groups report out who they are researching to avoid duplicates) who ruined his or her career by reporting false, inaccurate, or poorly reported information.

Each group will have about 15 minutes to research and create, and about two minutes to report out.

  1. Final Steps/Assessment (5 minutes)

Exit ticket:

Ask the students to reflect on the following question before they leave the room:

What are three concrete steps a reputable media operation should take when they discover a published story has major errors in it?

Disgraced journalists slideshow

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Fake news in an ever-changing media environment

Posted by on Aug 29, 2017 in Blog, Lessons, Scholastic Journalism, Teaching | 0 comments

by Jeff Kocur

Title

Fake news in an ever-changing media environment

Description
In the 21st century, we choose the media sources we consume in an increasingly passive manner. Stories show up in our news feeds and social media feeds, or in forwarded emails; often we don’t know the sources, or the sources look familiar, but they are from nefarious sources. Explore the changing nature of how we consume news, and help your students choose their information wisely.

Objectives

  • Students will define the terms fake news and post-truth
  • Students will determine a difference between inaccuracies in news media and fake news
  • Students will explore some of the forces changing the way media is consumed and created.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Length

50 minutes

Materials / resources

Article: https://www.wired.com/2017/02/journalism-fights-survival-post-truth-era/

Video clip: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/post-truth-word-of-the-year-2016-oxford-dictionaries/

Newseum: E.S.C.A.P.E. poster from Newseum

Worksheet (below)

As media lines ‘Blur,’ we all become editors 

Lesson step-by-step

  1. Introduction (10 minutes)
    Begin the lesson by showing the following video clip illustrating “post-truth” as the Oxford dictionary word of the year.

Share this definition on a screen:  “Post-Truth: relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

Ask students to discuss the following questions with a partner:

  • What is one potential consequence of a post-truth era?
  • Define the difference between fake news and inaccuracies in reporting. Students should try to come up with their own definitions for discussion as a class.
  1. Article and assessment (40 minutes)

Share the Wired.com article discussing journalism in the post-truth era and ask students to complete the attached worksheet

  1. Extension/Homework:

Have the students read or listen to this NPR article and email one connection they see between Wired article.

Journalism fights for survival in the post truth era

By Jason Tanz Wired.com

  1. The article asserts that 30 years ago, people worried the news media might have had too much power. Come up with three reasons (from the article and your own understanding or observations) of why this might have been true.

a.

b.

c.

  1. From your own understanding of fake news and the post-truth era, in what ways might the media have more power today than it did 30 years ago?
  2. The article quotes Chomsky and Herman’s view of the historical function of the media “the raw material of news must pass through successive filters, leaving only the cleansed residue fit to print” and they state “The result was a false national consensus, one that ignored outlying facts, voices, and ideas.”

In your opinion, have “outlying facts, voices, and ideas” been brought to light in the internet age? What has been the impact of this?

  1. Journalists were once pushed toward “middle of the road consensus because of the economic model of journalism.” Using this idea, explain the difference between broadcasting and narrowcasting, and see if you can do it without looking up the terms.

Does better journalism happen when you appeal to a wide range of beliefs and thoughts or does better journalism happen when you can focus on fringe voices that don’t always get heard through mainstream channels?

Defend your answer.

  1. The author argues that readers are essentially the new publishers. It is demand for stories that drives content, and appealing to people’s feelings is the best way to drive demand. Identify three ways in which an author of a fake news story may try to appeal to people’s feelings?

     a.

     b.

     c.

  1.   Find an example of a widely circulated fake news story that appeals to the emotions of a specific audience.
  2. Print it off or link to it here
  3. Identify the audience this story is meant to target. How do you know?
  4. Using the ESCAPE principles (handout or link), explain why you know not to trust this source.
  5. Identify the feelings the author is trying to stir to create demand.
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First Amendment school dialogue

Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Blog, Law and Ethics, Lessons, Scholastic Journalism | 0 comments

by Jeff Kocur

Title:

First Amendment school dialogue

Description

Constitution Day, for journalists, may need to start simply with recognition of the First Amendment and the five freedoms of the First Amendment. This activity will allow your school or individual classes to have a quick discussion of the First Amendment and how your students see their lives impacted by it.

Objectives:

  • Students will recognize the five freedoms of the First Amendment
  • Students will see the impact of the First Amendment on others
  • Students will show the First Amendment’s impact on their own life.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.9 Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.C Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.8 Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).

Length:

One lunch period (or extend the time over the course of a week during lunches)

Materials/Resources

Five Freedoms poster (make your own or print off the attached version and make it a poster)

Five Freedoms handout

Post-it Notes in five different colors (red, blue, green, yellow and purple)

Sharpie pens

Candy

First Amendment poster

Activity/lesson Step by Step

Step 1 — Preparation

Print off the Five Freedoms poster and blow it up so that you can hang it on a wall in your lunch or commons area.

Step 2 — Student input

Have your editors sit at a table during lunches with the poster, Post-it Notes, markers and a bowl of candy. Use the Google Presentation slideshow if you have a projector available or print off the five slides and laminate them for student reference.

Invite students to see the five different freedoms of the First Amendment and to choose the freedom they use the most often. Make sure they see the example sheets for the five different freedoms.

Have them choose the color of the Post-it Note that corresponds with their selection and write their name on the Post-it Note.

Post the note on the poster you’ve hung up and offer the students a piece of candy once they’ve completed the task.

Extension

Have an interview booth set up and offer the students the opportunity to share the impact one of the freedoms of the First Amendment has had on them. Here, they could go more in depth and discuss their own story and what the protections of the First Amendment mean to them.

Student media staffs also could put together a story or video that includes the results and some of the quotes from students who provided them.

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What’s in your state press law?

Posted by on Aug 22, 2017 in Blog, Law and Ethics, Legal issues, Lessons, Scholastic Journalism | 0 comments

by John Bowen and Lori Keekley

Title

What’s in your state press law?

Description

State laws protecting student press rights mean nothing if students don’t know what they cover. For this lesson, students will examine what their state law protects and what its limitations are. Students will also create a dialogue with stakeholders in order to educate them about what the bill and its impact.

Objectives

  • Students will evaluate what their state law covers
  • Students will locate and quote from their state bill
  • Students will create a dialogue to help inform other stakeholders about the bill.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term or terms over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.8 Delineate and evaluate the reasoning in seminal U.S. texts, including the application of constitutional principles and use of legal reasoning (e.g., in U.S. Supreme Court majority opinions and dissents) and the premises, purposes, and arguments in works of public advocacy (e.g., The Federalist, presidential addresses).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.D Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.D Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.

Length

50 minutes

Materials / resources

State law (pick the applicable one from those available at the end of the lesson)

Handout: State law sheet

Rubric: State law rubric

Computer

Definitions of legal terms used in various bills

Lesson step-by-step

Step 1 — Introduction (5 minutes)

Thirteen states have now passed student free expression legislation or codes. While many are similar, no one is exactly like any other.

Have students guess what 13 states have this legislation or state code.

(Teacher note — the states in which legislation has passed include: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island.)

Is your state part of this? (If it is not, have students evaluate one of the other state laws and see Extension 2).

Step 2 — Small groups (20 minutes)

Place students into small groups. Each group will need to complete the “State Law Sheet.” Teachers may need to provide hints about where to find the information either by search or accessing the New Voices USA homepage.

The teacher would also explain why it is important students create a dialogue between a student and either an administrator, school board member, angry parent, angry student or adviser about the bill. The teacher should assign each group one of these people to educate about the significance, relevance and rationale behind the laws, especially as they apply to the stakeholders.

Step 3 — Assessment (25 minutes)

Students will act out the dialogue they created concerning educating someone about the bill. Please see the rubric for point breakdown.

Differentiation

If you have advanced students, you could have students compare their state legislation with another state’s bill. Then they could write a blogpost about whether their legislation needs any changes and why.

We also recommend more than additional class or assignment time for students to work on applying what they learned about their state legislation.

Assessment

The teacher will use the assessment form to evaluate student participation.

Extension Activities

Extension 1:

Have students (in small groups) research the following court cases and reflect upon why they might be used as precedent in a New Voices law:

Tinker v. Des Moines

Bethel v. Fraser

Dean v. Utica

Miller v. California

Morse v. Frederick

The students should present background information about why the court cases laws are relevant and why precise legal language is essential for any such legislation to succeed.

Extension 2:

If your state is not included in the list of 13 states with laws, the teacher might have students use the lesson to focus on differences between two of the state’s legislation is and what should be in students’ state legislation when developed.

Students could also access the New Voices U.S. site and see their state’s status in the New Voices movement and see who to contact if they are interested in helping to pass the bill.

State Laws and Codes:

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