Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cyber Monday Sale - Teachers Pay Teachers

Woo-hoo! A big sale on something you can really use - teacher-created resources for the classroom. I've got my wishlist ready to go! Everything in my store is 20% off, plus Teachers Pay Teachers will take off an additional 10%, for a 28% discount. Be sure to use the promo code CMT12 when you check out. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Evaluating Sources Prompt - Bottled Water

It's important to teach students to use qualified academic sources in their papers. The temptation is to use the easy, entertaining stuff they find on the internet instead. Here is a classroom activity to start a discussion and use as a writing prompt.

1. Show the video "The Story of Bottled Water."

2. After the video, have a brief discussion of the issues. Now show the video "The Real Story of Bottled Water."

3. Have a discussion on why or why not either of these are credible sources. (They are not--one is inflammatory, for example, it compares drinking bottled water to smoking while pregnant, and one is put out by a trade association with a commercial interest). Ask students what questions they have now, what information they can use or trust, and how to go about verifying facts and getting the real story.

4. At this point, I ask students to find a good academic source, and write a response to the issue based on the credible information they find.

An important concept the students learn is that unqualified sources such as the videos are good starting points for asking questions and learning what the conversation is all about, but that in order to be a good research, facts must be verified.