Like it or not, your students are going to do most of their research on the web. Unfortunately, the vast majority of secondary school students are as likely to believe a personal blog as they are a vetted journal article.  If you have the time, we recommend the following activity:

OPTIONAL: Website Evaluation Activity: Use one of the following hoax sites along with at least one of your favorite legitimate sites. The goal is not only to teach students how to assess websites, but to help them develop a healthy skepticism towards all sources of information.

camResearch Worksheet: Upon completion of this research worksheet, the student should have all the basic information he/she needs in order to create a mini documentary or PSA. Feel free to use the Critical Analysis Flowchart and Issues Charts to amend the worksheet in order to create a different analytical structure. Samples have been provided.

OPTIONAL: SPOKE Graphic Organizer: This small group or homework activity gives students an opportunity to categorize the information they have gathered. Students will need to use their fact sheets and other research to complete this evidence-based activity.

OPTIONAL: CASE Graphic Organizer: This organizer provides a framework for students to analyze the complexity of a situation. Students review the Consequences, Assumptions, Solutions, and Evidence inherent in the topic they are studying. Based on their analysis of these factors, they then determine how best to define the issues, develop convincing arguments, and determine possible solutions.



camOnce students have gained a solid understanding of the subject matter, the POV Activity will help them determine what style of documentary best showcases their project. Are they educating or advocating? Who is their intended audience and how does this affect the way they plan to tell their story? (Note: you may wish to allow some students to create music videos or other unconventional formats.)

OPTIONAL: Four Corners Debate: Teachers place signs in each of the four corners of the classroom: Agree, Disagree, Strongly Agree, and Strongly Disagree. Teachers then place an absolute statement on the board which can be open to interpretation and debate. For example, a teacher might use “Conserving resources is more important than comfort or convenience.” Students then move to the corner of the room best representing their viewpoint in view of the research they have done. They may change corners during the debate if they change their minds. This activity is designed to assist students as they formulate an opinion, construct a bias, or decide to remain objective and develop their project strictly to inform without prejudice.

FLOWCHART        BACK         1  2  3  4          NEXT