Lesson Plan: Evaluating Web Resources

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    16-Feb-2016

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Originally written for a grade 6 class, this lesson can be adapted to suit any junior/intermediate class. After a guided investigation of a hoax website, students will work independently to evaluate web resources using a co-created set of criteria.

Transcript

  • Angela Shuang Liang

    1

    Lesson Title: Evaluating Internet Resources Timing: 90 minutes

    Target Audience: Grade 6

    Learning Goals:

    Students will be able to

    Identify the criteria for trustworthy websites

    Evaluate web resources to use for biodiversity unit

    Prior Knowledge: Familiarity with website text features (e.g. URL, links, ads)

    Materials: Evaluating Web Resources anchor chart (pg. 4), Web Resource Evaluation form (pg.

    5), one device per two students

    Minds On (5)

    Introduce lesson as one about human impacts on biodiversity and endangered species.

    Read a few paragraphs about the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus and elicit student responses

    1. Who has heard of the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus?

    2. What are your thoughts about this information?

    3. Do you trust this website? Why/why not?

    Reveal the site to be a hoax carefully designed to seem authentic. Discuss the real purpose of

    the lesson - to learn to evaluate web resources and gather a collection of trustworthy sites to

    use for upcoming science unit on biodiversity.

    Guided Practice (25)

    Elicit student responses

    How do you know if a website if giving you authentic information?

    Present the anchor chart for evaluating web resources (pg. 4).

    With the whole group, investigate and evaluate the Tree Octopus website. Fill in the Web

    Resource Evaluation form, and make a conclusion about the credibility of the website.

    Below is a sample of a filled-in evaluation form.

  • Angela Shuang Liang

    2

    Website: Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

    Purpose

    What is the purpose of the

    website?

    To inform.

    Is the information mostly fact

    or opinion?

    Information is conveyed in a factual tone.

    Authority of Author

    Who wrote the page? Lyle Zapato

    Google search reveals Zapato is the creator of an Internet

    hoax.

    What are the authors

    credentials?

    Author is the President & CEO of Zapato Productions

    and an Intradimentional according to authors blog.

    No science credentials.

    Authenticity

    Is the information from a

    credible organization?

    No connection to established organizations.

    Are there links to other

    resources? Do they work?

    Links are working.

    Unfamiliar list of Other Animals of Interest. Links dont

    lead to recognized sources.

    Books listed under Media have nothing to do with the Tree

    Octopus.

    What sources are listed in the

    bibliography/footnotes?

    None.

    Are there errors in the writing? None found.

    Timeliness

    Is the page dated? The page was updated a month ago.

    Conclusion: The website is not trustworthy because the author has no authority on the

    subject of science. The page has no connection to any established organizations, and the

    links to literature and other animals of interest are irrelevant.

  • Angela Shuang Liang

    3

    Independent Practice (45)

    In groups of two, students are assigned websites to evaluate using one iPad/Netbook per group.

    They will complete the Web Resource Evaluation form, and make a conclusion based on their

    investigation.

    Websites to evaluate:

    Dog Island

    The Burmese Mountain Dog

    Save the Guinea Worm Foundation

    Protecting Endangered Species

    Parasitic Wasp Introduced to Ontario

    Ecosystems

    Mike the Headless Chicken

    Consolidation (15)

    Students reflect on the most effective and efficient way to evaluate websites by having a

    discussion around these questions

    1. What were the most obvious signs of an unreliable source?

    2. What made evaluating websites difficult?

    3. How did your prior knowledge help you determine whether a website was trustworthy?

    Differentiation

    Group students according to ability and assign websites at their reading level. Consider

    difficulty, complexity, and text density.

    Students who need a challenge can use the anchor chart and Web Resource Evaluation form to

    find their own trusted web resources on the topic of biodiversity.

    Assessment

    Web Resource Evaluation form

    Discussion

  • Angela Shuang Liang

    2

    Anchor Chart

    Evaluating Web Resources

    Criteria for Evaluation Specific Questions

    Authority of author Who wrote the page? What are the authors credentials?

    Purpose What is the purpose of the website (i.e. to inform, entertain, persuade, sell)? Is the information mostly fact or opinion?

    Authenticity Is the information from a credible organization? Are there links to other resources? Do they work? What sources are listed in the bibliography/footnotes? Are there errors in the writing?

    Timeliness Is the page dated?

  • Angela Shuang Liang

    3

    Web Resource Evaluation

    Website:

    Purpose

    What is the purpose of the

    website?

    Is the information mostly fact or

    opinion?

    Authority of Author

    Who wrote the page?

    What are the authors

    credentials?

    Authenticity

    Is the information from a credible

    organization?

    Are there links to other

    resources? Do they work?

    What sources are listed in the

    bibliography/footnotes?

    Are there errors in the writing?

    Timeliness

    Is the page dated?

    Conclusion: