Chelsea Leonard
History, Social Science
Material Type:
Middle School, High School
Current Events, Cyber Citizenship, Media, News
Creative Commons Attribution

Education Standards

Analyzing and Evaluating Media Lesson


The goal for this unit is to have students analyze a variety of sources on a current events subject of their interest, identify the different perspectives, and defend their own position.

This is one lesson from a larger unit on Evaluating Media. This unit will also cover identifying credible sources, analyzing fake news and the role of propaganda, identifying the different ways news is communicated in different communities. This unit will take place in the beginning of the school year to help instill evaluative and critical thinking research skills as we discuss and explore our big ideas throughout the school year. The end goal is to have students create a digital resource for their topic that we can share out as an educational tool for others. We’ll be creating a padlet that links to all of their presentations (students will have their choice in medium, as long as it is digital) that we will share with our school community and ideally can connect and share with other schools and students. There is also a possibility of using PenPalSchools to share out final resources, but that would depend on getting approval from the district to utilize that website.

Analyzing and Evaluating Media Lesson

Lesson Plan:

  1. Introduction- Students will be given a list of different news outlets to visit and skim through their headlines. Students will have 10 minutes to explore and write down any topic/ headline that stood out to them or that they are interested in learning about. As a class we will share these topics and curate a list of topics for students to research. Each topic will have a digital folder where students can add resources and relevant information once we begin the research portion of this unit. This will allow students to share resources and collaborate while pursuing their own research.
  2. Research- Once students have selected a topic they will begin to research and find credible news sources related to their topic. Students will need to find 5 credible sources for their topic from different outlets. These sources can be newspaper articles, podcasts, documentaries, websites, etc. For each source students will be required to evaluate the credibility of the source, summarize the source, and generate three questions they have for the creator of the source.
  3. Presentation Creation- After students have completed their research, they will need to create a digital presentation (medium of choice) about their topic. Their presentation must include:
  1. Overview about topic
  2. Opposing viewpoints and arguments about the topic
  3. Student position about the topic
  4. Unanswered questions about the topic
  5. Work cited

The presentation can be an infograph, video, podcast, digital presentation, mindomo map, etc., total student choice.

  1. Communal Collaboration- Once the presentations are completed they will be shared on a Padlet. Students will need to go on to the Padlet and leave comments on at least 5 other students’ presentations. These comments must include two questions about the topic and at least one connection.