Note: I was not in school today, so this lesson was taught by my student teacher. Also, my class periods are 53 minutes, every day. Because of time limitations, I am sharing a skeletal view of the lesson. In my lesson plan book, "What the teacher did" and What the students did" are in side-by-side columns. However, they are presented sequentially below due to the constraints of this blog platform.

What the teacher did: Students compared two different versions of the same data in an attempt to recognize how news sites manipulate data. The teacher shared two screen shots of charts depicting the number of people who signed up for Obamacare. Though the charts depicted the same information, the way the information was presented was vastly different between the charts (which were chosen from news sites on opposite ends of the political spectrum).

What the students did: The students studied each chart and were asked what they noticed about them. Students discussed why the graphs chose to present the same information in very different ways. This led to a discussion that culminated in emphasizing the importance of always asking two questions: (1) Who is the source? and (2) Who is the intended audience?

What the teacher did: Students were directed to this page that contains a number of charts and graphs regarding shootings:

What the students did: Each student surfed the charts for ten minutes, eventually focusing on one that most interested him/her. Each student selected one chart and answered the following questions; (1) What does the chart say? (2) What does the chart not say? (3) How is the chart said? (4) Who is the source? (5) Who is the intended audience?

Students then did a quick write in their notebooks, reflecting on the exercise.

Students shared their responses with “shoulder partners.” They shared (1) which chart they chose to examine closely, and (2) one big idea that emerged from their writing.

Some reflections on the lesson:

  • I was not in the classroom today, and because I am writing this in an airport, I have not yet had time to reflect upon how the lesson went with my student teacher.

AuthorKelly Gallagher