Author:
Shana Ferguson
Subject:
Environmental Science, Visual Arts, Environmental Studies, Reading Informational Text, Measurement and Data
Material Type:
Assessment, Diagram/Illustration, Homework/Assignment, Lesson Plan, Reading
Level:
High School
Tags:
  • ART
  • Artist
  • Charts
  • Climate Change
  • Cyber Citizenship
  • Data
  • Fact Checking
  • Graphs
  • Misinformation
  • Research
  • SIFT
  • Social Media
  • wa-dcml
  • wa-edtech
  • wa-science
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Interactive, Text/HTML

    Education Standards

    Artists, Information Literacy & Climate Change

    Artists, Information Literacy & Climate Change

    Overview

    This unit explores the various ways information and ideas about climate change are presented through a variety of media. This includes the evaluation of social media posts, research into climate change issues, and an exploration of contemporary art and artists. This was designed and taught in an honors 9th grade English Language Arts Classroom by Dr. Tavia Quaid in response to student interest in climate change and to reinforce key information literacy skills.

    Copyright, Funding Source & Permissions

    Except where otherwise noted, this work by Tavia Quaid and Shana Ferguson, Vancouver Public Schools, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. All logos and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Sections used under fair use doctrine  (17 U.S.C. § 107) are marked. 

    This work contains links to websites and videos operated by third parties and references to digital platforms. These links and platforms are provided for your convenience and do not constitute or imply any affiliation, endorsement, sponsorship, approval, verification or monitoring.

    Funding for this unit was provided through a Media Literacy Grant from Washington's State's OSPI. Materials do not reflect the views or endorsement of OSPI.

    Unit image from Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Generic License.

    Unit Overview

    At the end of this unit, students will be able to:

    • Evaluate the validity of social media and digital media information
    • Express their understanding of digital information through summarization and paraphrasing skills
    • Work collaboratively to create a slide presentation synthesizing new knowledge regarding the methods artists use to increase societal awareness of climate change

    Student understandings: 

    • Humans actions and behaviors are causes of global warming and climate change.
    • Social media posts are often inaccurate and information can be validated or authenticated to help establish accuracy.
    • Research institutions and journals and ethical journalism provide corroborating sources of information.
    • Misinformation is common on social media platforms; using SIFT a fact checking/source verifying method helps establish valid and unreliable information.
    • Artists add to the conversation regarding climate change using various methods and techniques that draw attention to different aspects of climate change.

    Essential Questions: 

    • What evidence identifies how humans contribute to climate change?
    • How do different types of information help people understand the global climate?
    • How can a source evaluation process help individuals to be accurately informed and recognize attempts by individuals, organizations or producers to promote mis-information?
    • How can art promote a greater understanding or awareness of environmental issues?

    Students will know: 

    • How to use the “number-summary-paragraph” format of note taking to demonstrate comprehension of prose non-fiction.
    • Apply the SIFT method for evaluation social media posts.
    • The methods used by specific artists to raise awareness of different aspects of climate change.

    Students will be skilled at:

    • Demonstrating new knowledge through note taking, and small group collaboration.
    • Applying the SIFT method to evaluate social media posts.
    • Collaboration to produce an informative slide presentation.

    Notetaking

    To begin the unit, students can practice reading and notetaking on a shared class article related to climate change. As a high interest and evolving topic, we recommend finding a recent article at a suitabel reaidng level for the class. We used a database article, but many newspapers, online science organization and other sources would work well. 

    There are a number of effective note taking strategies. We used the following throughout the unit: 

    Step 1: Number the paragraphs in the article

    Step 2: Highlight key terms and new vocabulary. List and define new terms as a class.

    Step 3: Write a short, one sentence summary that parapharses each paragraph.

    Step 4: Write a paragraph that summarizes the entire article. Encourage students to consider which paragraphs can be combined or do not need to be included. 

    SIFT Method

    Mike Caulfield at WSU Vancouver developed the SIFT Method or the 4 Moves to help people to evaluate claims and to distinguish fact from fiction.

    You can introduce the SIFT method by sharing your own process in evaluating a social media post. You can also find examples of fact checking from the News Literacy Project's Sift weekly educator newletter. 

    This slide deck can be updated with a newer example of how to apply the SIFT steps to a social media post.

    Student Activity: 

    • Ask students individually or in groups to find their own climate change social media post and to practice the SIFT method. They could brainstorm hashtags to use to find posts. 
    • You can also provide students with a library of posts to choose from. It helps to link to the original post so students can evaluate the source by opening their feed/profile. 
    • While some students may not have social media accounts, they can use YouTube or a social media platform that has open posts that do not require an account, ie Twitter or Instagram.

    Activity follow ups:

    • Once students understand the SIFT method, you can begin each class with a quick warm up with recent social media posts. Studenst can also bring in sample posts from their feeds for class evaluation.

    Reading Charts & Graphs

    Begin by introducing students to various types of charts and graphs and how they can be used to mislead people. 

    Pacific Science Center's Online Uncovering Reality Exhibit walks students through examples of misleading graphs. 

    You can also use the New York Times' What's Going On in This Graph? to share examples, look at a variety of graphs or as a daily warm up. 

    Group Activity: In small groups, students work with one of several New York Times articles that feature graphs and charts regarding social and environmental issues related to climate change (links provided below). Each group identifies the type of visual information and the purpose of the information in connection to the article. The group agrees on the key points of the article and visual information and then a spokesperson for each group shared the results with the whole class. 

    Individual/Partner/Group Activity: Students visit the skepticalscience.com website and chose one of the Top 10 Climate myths. They can evaluate the information provided and explained what the myth was and how the site demonstrated a misuse of visual information by those who support the myth.

    Artists & Climate Change Research

    Show examples of artists whose work emphasizes a climate change issue. You can use this article or curate your own list/resources.

    Introduce the Artists and Climate Change Worksheet that students will use to demonstrate their understanding of two artists' purpose and perspective on particular climate issues. You can assign artists or have students sign up for specific artists they would like to study. After conducting their own reading and research, they will work in small groups on a final presentation.

    Students can select, read, and take notes on articles that support and provide scientific information on the climate topics connected to their artists' work.

    After completing the worksheet, students can collaborate on a single paragraph per artist/topic and explain what they now understood about the artist and the climate topic featured in the artist’s work. This paragraph can be written in MLA format and should include a Works Referenced or Works Cited page depending on whether the group used quotations or wrote only using their own words.  This work becomes the foundation for their group slide presentation project.

    Artists & Climate Change Presentation (Final Assessment)

    Students work in the same small groups as their research/artists to create a final presentation for the class. 

    The slides are:

    • 1 a title slide that includes all group members name and an original image
    • slides 2-3 introduce the two artists and their climate topics
    • slides 4-5 provide examples of the artists work that expresses a visual interest in the topic
    • slides 6-7 identify key details about the topics from other sources
    • slides 8-9 present the results of SIFT analysis work for social media posts related to the topics
    • slide 10 is the conclusion with a visual that expresses the group's response to the artists' perspectives. (If the visual is not a student production the visual’s source must be cited).
    • slide 11 is the Works Cited

    The last day of the week, each group will submit their slides to a Google shared folder (or similar option that allows students to view each group's work) and then complete a peer evaluation for two different groups.