Last week students in grades 3, 4 and 5 were given a crash course in how to tell fact from fiction in the news. We started off diving right into a satirical article written for The New Yorker by Andy Borowitz, and talked about fake news and how to identify it.
After the students led a conversation where they discussed what they thought the purpose of this article was and what evidence supported their opinion, we watched a quick movie identifying five ways to spot fake news. My favorite quote of the week was when a fourth grader asked me how they knew they should trust this video as a source! High five for real-life application of learning!
Finally we reviewed a poster that I purchased from The American Library Association highlighting ways to protect oneself from fake news. This week we are putting that knowledge to the test in a Digital Detectives Challenge! Already 4D showed their understanding of how to be critical of information, images, and news sources. This week is going to be full of deeper learning!
Imagine my surprise and excitement this morning when I received a notification on my cell phone regarding current world events that completely tie in with the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award-nominated book I am reading with the 5th grade. It Ain’t So Awful Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas is the story of an Iranian family living in California during the Iranian revolution in 1979. The BBC shared a concise and detailed two-minute video that outlined current Iranian protests happening right now, and I was eager to share it with fifth grade this morning (as I will with 5R on Friday).
The conversation 5B had about the connections they could draw between the text, current events, past historical events such as the Civil Rights movement, and other texts like Brown Girl Dreaming was beyond what I could have hoped for. Our students are so mature, thoughtful, empathetic, and interested in social justice. I could not have been more proud and more pleased to have such an astute group of students to start my day with, and I look forward to providing them with more opportunities to learn and grow as members of the global community through books!
Be sure to ask your fifth grade students what they have learned about Iran, including asking them whether or not you are pronouncing it correctly!