Friday, September 27, 2013

Activity: Using Bloom's to Explore Visual and Traditional News Sources

Recently, I was given the task of creating an activity using Bloom's Taxonomy to guide students through the critical examination of multi-platform news sources. In considering this production, I couldn't help thinking of the old adage from Poor Richard himself:: "Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see." I believe nothing, including the news, should be taken at face value. In my opinion, this is also key to the successful media education of students.

I designed this activity with the idea of cross-curricular integration in mind. While it can be used in the English

classroom, it can also be easily adapted for use with Social Studies/History, Science, FACS, Tech Ed, Media Literacy, Speech, Drama, ETC simply by choosing articles applicable to each particular class.

I thought I would share the results in the hope that other would find this type of activity helpful.

Remember –

1. What was the lead story (or front page story)?


2. What story interested you the most?

Understand –

3. Summarize the details of this story. Be sure to include the five W’s of reporting – who, what, when, where, and why.

4. Explain why this news story interested you. (Be sure to consider the topic, the way the story was presented, any personal connection you had to the story, and past interest in other stories like this one.)

Apply –

5. Review the five W’s summarized above. Are there any questions unanswered or not completely or clearly answered? Why do you think this happened? Are there any questions you think should be explained further? Why? (What difference would a better explanation make to the story? Would it make a difference in your opinion of the story?)

Analyze –

6. Examine the story for source information. Did the story give information about the source? Who supplied the information or where was the information obtained? When were the facts of the story revealed? Why was the story released at this time? Does anyone benefit from this story being told at this time?

7. Find another source for the story (i.e. another station, another newspaper, a reliable online source). Are there major differences between the two reports? Using the five W’s, what differences can you identify between the two sources?

Evaluate –

8. Between the two sources, which story do you find to be more believable? Why? (Remember to consider where the story is coming from, who is telling the story, eyewitness reports, and differences in the presentation of the information.)

9. Using the original source, is there evidence of bias present? (Were you given all sides of the story? Is any part of the story speculation? Does anyone benefit either because this story is being told or because of the way this story is being told? Were different viewpoints used in reporting this story?)

Create –

10. Using the information from the previous questions create an alternate version of the story from a different perspective/point of view.