This unit plan, created by Joy Cowdery and Leah Wright, is designed to give students the opportunity to explore, analyze, and critique journalistic bias and to evaluate the impact that news media have on individual decision making. The intelligent use of news sources is important to students. Caswell, Villaume, Johnson, Butler, and Barnett (2001) found that an estimated "90 percent of a student's reading after high school will be informational reading."
The overarching standard statement addressed in this unit is grade 9-10 Reading Informational Texts: “Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.” Each lesson includes related standards, but the ultimate learning stems from this statement.
One potential way to consider addressing the standard is through the FIP (Formative Instructional Practices) process, which begins with deconstruction of the standard statement. Please note, this sample deconstruction is only for illustrative purposes; deconstructed learning targets are subjective.
In grades 6-8, students begin to understand that different types of media and formats present information in different ways. Students are asked to make connections between the media types and their effectiveness in relaying a message. (For example, is a speech best relayed through a written text, a video, or an audio recording?)
In the 9-10 grade band, students understand that a single event can be relayed in a variety of ways. Students are asked to follow events and subjects as presented in several media formats. Additionally, students are expected to analyze how the details emphasized in each account of the event have an impact on the account of the event itself.
In the 11-12 grade band, students use this knowledge to integrate details from multiple sources to answer a question or solve a problem.
|II. Introducing the Concept|
|In this section of the unit, students use their learning from previous grades to progress toward the grade level standard. |
|III. Developing the Concept|
|In this section of the unit, students should be meeting the standard statement requirements. They should be able to analyze different accounts of a topic and determine the details that are emphasized in each account. |
|In this lesson, students are given the opportunity to research an argumentative statement that addresses a contemporary news issue and present their persuasive findings in a debate format.
While this lesson continues to develop learning toward the overarching Reading Informational Texts standard, it also addresses a related Speaking and Listening standard statement: SL.9-10.4: “Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.” One way to address this additional standard would be by deconstructing the related standard and including learning targets from that process. Though a sample deconstruction is available, please note the subjectivity involved in creating learning targets.
|IV. Digging Deeper|
|In "Digging Deeper," students make deeper connections to the content of the unit. They go beyond the requirements of the standard statement in preparation for the next level of expectations.|
|This culminating assessment asks students to research another news event or community event through media and local resources. Students then reflect on how the details emphasized in the resources impacts their personal understanding and decisions about the event. This reflection prepares students for grade 11-12 expectations, which require them to integrate and evaluate information from various sources to answer a question or solve a problem. |