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Title: Understanding Information Literacy

Grade: 8th Grade

Overall Goal: The overall goal of this lesson is for students to be able to use information
literacy skills in order to identify bias, list quality sources and the characteristics of them, and
have the tools to properly cite sources in an academic format. Because this is a social studies
class, there will be a history component as well, mainly focusing on the three branches of

To reach this goal and develop these skills, students will be taught information about
information literacy, play the board game that we created to reinforce information literacy skills,
and then create their own presentation on it.

We will begin the lesson with an exciting hook about fake news. The purpose of the hook is to
get students interested in the topic and to introduce the overall themes of the lesson, such as
bias and credibility. In the main lesson we will go into further detail about information literacy
and fully explore students’ knowledge of bias, credibility, and sources. To engage with their
learning, students will play a board game based in Washington, D.C. and answer questions
about information literacy and the three branches of government. They will also use QR codes
to visit credible and non credible websites, and report back about the information they find.
They will decide if a source is credible, explain why, and evaluate the source for any bias.

To show and explain the information that they have learned throughout this lesson,
students will be asked to create a presentation based on a historical figure that was in one of
the three branches of government, such as a past president. The presentation will include facts
and details about the historical figure, but also about the sources they found and used and why
they are credible.

The concepts of information literacy are more important now more than ever, both in
the classroom and online in general. In the classroom, students need to be able to use the skills
of information literacy, such as identifying bias, in order to select good sources that they will
use to write a research or history paper. As for navigating the online world in general, students
need to be able to filter out obviously biased or non credible information, in order for them to
become well informed members of our society who will later use this information to vote and
influence our country.

Standards Learning Objective Assessment

8.1.29 (DOE) Differentiate  Students will be able Students will create a

between facts and historical to identify project about a historical
interpretations of events, characteristics, provide figure that requires them
recognizing that the historian’s examples, to use their information
narrative reflects his or her
and compare and literacy skills acquired
judgment about the significance
of particular facts.
contrast credible and from the board game
non credible sources (see rubric for details).
 Students will be able
to detect when an
author is biased, and
what their reasons for
doing so may be.

8.2.2 (DOE) Explain the concept  Students will be able Students will play the
of a separation of powers and to describe the three board game and answer
how and why these powers are branches of questions about the
distributed, shared and limited government and how branches of government
in the constitutional
they work with each in order to move
government of the United
other. forward.

See rubric

3a (ISTE) Students plan and  Students will be able Students will be assessed
employ effective research to find and recognize by their ability to engage
strategies to locate information what a valid, with the board game.
and other resources for their trustworthy, and They will learn about
intellectual or creative pursuits.
reliable site looks like.information literacy
through deciphering
 Students will be able information about the
to cite the sources that U.S. Government.
they use in an
academic format, such See rubric
as MLA or APA.

Key Terms & Definitions:

 Information literacy: A set of abilities that enable students to effectively find and
evaluate online information.
 Credible: A source’s level of trustability; when a source is filled with facts and is
reputable for having correct information.
 Non credible: A source that should not be believed or trusted; often filled with bias and
personal opinion rather than facts.
 Bias: Prejudice in favor of or against one thing or group.
 Sources: Places, physical or online, from which any sort of information comes.
 News: Newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important
 Media: The main means of mass communication (i.e. broadcasting, publishing, and the
 Fake news: False stories that appear to be real news, often appearing on social media,
such as facebook post.
 QR code: A machine-readable code consisting of an array of black and white squares
that when scanned will lead the scanner to a website.
 Government: The group of people in charge of making decisions for a nation, state, or
 Democratic Government: A country that is both a republic and a democracy. It is one
where ultimate authority and power is derived from the citizens.
 Separation of powers: a system of checks and balances spreading out the powers of the
government through the executive, legislative, and judicial branches
 U.S. Constitution: The document that laid out the structure and inner workings of how
to form and run the U.S government; the supreme law of the land.
 Executive Branch: The branch of government that contains the President and Vice
President, and all of those he picks to be under him, such as the Cabinet and executive
officers; responsible for executing and carrying out laws.
 Legislative Branch: The branch of government that contains a bicameral Congress
consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate; responsible for making the
 Judicial Branch: The branch of government that contains the Supreme Court;
responsible for deciding if the laws are constitutional and how to interpret them.
 Supreme court: the highest federal court in the US, consisting of nine justices
 President: The head of the executive branch
 Vice president: An official who serves under the President and is responsible for
breaking ties in the Senate
 Senate majority leader: the leader of the majority party in the senate
 Congress: the combination of the House of Representatives and the Senate

Lesson Introduction (Hook, Grabber):

To start off our lesson we will present to the students a fake news story that we found,
stating that it has to be true since we found it on the internet. The article says the Kim-Jong-Un
is to be named the sexiest man alive. This is a good example, because it would be funny to the
students, which is a great way to get students interested and excited about the topic.
It immediately brings up many of the key concepts about the lesson, such as being able to spot
bias, and tell whether or not a source is credible.

In the next step, we will ask students their thoughts on the article and have a discussion
about these thoughts. We will ask students questions such as: What do you think of the
story? Do you think that the story is true? Why or why not? We expect answers where
students obviously see the story as false, because of its absurdity and obvious bias.

This is a great transition into information literacy, as it demonstrates that students

already have an idea and an intuition about what is fake and what is real. We will clarify how
you would determine how that the story was fake and how to avoid others like it. This is where
we can start introducing the concept of information literacy, and we will briefly state the
concepts of bias and credibility. We will then ask students to use these ideas to further explain
their correct thinking of why the article is false.
To further their engagement, we will try to personalize the lesson for students. We will
ask students about stories where they themselves or someone they knew once believed a lie or
fake story. This will allow students to get personal and relate this information to themselves.
This will better allow students to internalize the concepts of information literacy, and make the
concepts we will be learning about relatable.

To emphasize the importance of information literacy, we will have a class discussion of

all of the ways in which it applies to them and can help them out in life, as well as how they
might have already used these concepts in their life so far. For example, students have
probably already used information literacy skills in instances such as researching for a
presentation or paper, being an informed voter and citizen, and just overall being able to stay
knowledgeable and not get tricked easily by fake news.

Lesson Main:

Activities during the main lesson

1 First, all students will need to have a background understanding of information

literacy. To accomplish this, we will go over many of the key terms and ideas of
information literacy. We will go over them by giving students a list of our definitions and
having them follow along with this video.
After watching the video, we will discuss each definition from out definition list and allow
students to ask any questions they have on them. (30 minutes)

2 Next, we will further explain a key concept of information literary, credible and
non credible sources. To do this, we will be discussing and viewing an infographic that I
have made for this lesson on piktochart. The infographic contrasts the characteristics of
credible and non credible sources. (15 minutes)

3 Board game

 A group of 3-5 students will be chosen to come and play this board game at a
 The game is based around information literacy and the separation of powers.
 The game has 4 different neighborhoods. With each neighborhood representing a
different part of government. The neighborhoods are the executive branch,
legislative branch, the judicial branch, and the Constitution.
 The way the game operates is that students take a die and roll it, moving however
many spaces it says. After they land on a space, students will be tasked with
answering a neighborhood specific question right, for instance in the executive
neighborhood, questions will be based on the executive branch. If they answer the
question right, then they get to stay on the space. If they answer the question
incorrectly, they must move back to the space they came from. There are 6 spaces
in each neighborhood, so once they complete a neighborhood, they have to stop
and view the QR code.
 At the end of a neighborhood, there is a QR code waiting that will take students to
either a credible or non credible source. Students will read over and analyze this
source, and then discuss whether it is a credible source or not, and why they have
identified it as such. They will also be writing the qualities they found of the
different types of sites. These notes will be useful for future class discussions and
in creating their presentation.
 Once students have gone through the whole game board and reached the national
archives, the game ends. (20 minutes each playthrough)
 Directions for the game can be found here.

4 While a small group of students are playing the board game at a time, the rest
of the students, will be on their devices learning more about information literacy. The
students, will be tasked with finding multiple examples of a biased source, a non biased
source, a credible source, a non credible source. After everyone has had the chance to
find multiple examples of each, we will begin calling on students to share their sites and
experiences while searching. After everyone has shared, we will go over the
commonalities of sites in the same category and the differences between categories,
allowing the students to get practice with information literacy before beginning their
project. For instance, the teacher will ask students to come up to the board and list a site
they visited and put it under the credible or non credible category and explain why. Once
everyone is done we will have a class discussion on the commonalities between all the

(However long it takes for all students to finish the board game)

5 Once all students have had a chance to play the board game and find examples of the
different types of websites , we will begin to wrap up the lesson. The students will be
tasked with creating a presentation based on a historical figure and on the sources and
websites that they use to find information on them (see below). Students will be given
time to work in class (50 minutes)

6 Presentations will begin, and be judged based on the rubric below. (5 minutes each)

Lesson Ending:
To wrap up and end the lesson, students will be tasked with designing a presentation to
demonstrate what they have learned. To show this, students will pick a historical figure that
they are interested in and that served in one the three branches of government , use credible
sources to research them, and present on it. The presentation, will contain slides on their
historical figure, the sites and sources that they used to find the information, how they know
that the information they found was credible, and a works cited page. This is how we will
assess a students learning, and how students will be able to show and perform what they have
learned and understood from this lesson. While a student presents, other students will be
intently listening, and to keep them engaged on each others presentations, each student will be
required to ask at least a couple questions of any one the presenters presentations, such as
why they choose this particular person?

This presentation will relate to their current lives, because they can choose do it on any
historical figure that served in the government, thus they could do it on a figure that was
heavily influential on their lives today and that lead to immense change, such as the first African
American or Woman senator. Plus they will have to use the ideas of information literacy when
doing presentations for other classes, so this is just more practice using and incorporating
them, such as finding credible and reliable sources for a research presentation.

We have created an example presentation that students should expand on and model
their own presentations off of.

Assessment Rubric: Assessing students on their final presentations.

Great Average Poor Bad

Professional The student has a The student The student is The student
presenter loud confident voice tries their best for the most part never tries
at all times, and to sound quiet and reads to speaks up or
always keeps eye confident and off of the be heard, and
contact with the maintain eye slides,except for only reads off of
crowd contact, but has a few instances the slides
a few messups or seconds
now and again.

Facts and The student list at The students The students list The student list
information least 10 fun and list only 7-9 only 4-6 facts, very few facts,
interesting facts facts, and only and only goes or their facts are
about their goes into into very minor false and
historical figure, surface level detail about their inaccurate
and goes into great detail about life and impact
and deep detail their life
about their life and

Professional The presentation The The presentation The

presentation itself looks presentation has 10-15 presentation
very appealing and less than 5 spelling and looks very
stylish , has almost spelling and grammar sloppy and
no grammatical or grammar mistakes, and thrown
spelling errors, and mistakes, but quite a few slides together, 20
it looks like a great most of the look sloppy with plus
amount of effort is slides still look not alot of grammatical and
given. Is at least 5 appealing and information, only spelling errors,
minutes long clearly had a little effort was and looks like
some effort. Is given. Is around almost no effort
around 4 3 minutes. was given. Is
minutes less than 3

Sources For their The student The student only The student
presentation, only had 3 had 1-2 sources, either listed no
students should sources, didn't really sources or non
have chosen at spent only a mention why credible and
least 4 different little amount of they were obviously biased
sources, spent time talking creible, or had ones.Did not
slides talking about about their massive mistakes have a works
them and why they credibility, or in citation cited area
are credible, and had a few minor
correctly cited all of mistakes in
them in MLA citation

To connect to
information literacy,
students will have
to talk about how
the sources they
found were credible
and fee of bias.

Resources / Artifacts:

 Board game, and board game video


 BrainPop Video to introduce information literacy


 Fake News Story from the Onion


 Infographic on credible and non credible sources


 Example presentation for the final project



1. Differentiation for ability levels

 To allow all ability levels to learn effectively, we could change the board game to fit
different needs. For instance, we could have two sets on questions, one set being for
higher ability learners, that contain more complex and complicated questions and
information and questions for lower ability learners. This is a common strategy often
seen in many board and trivia games, which allows for students off all abilities to learn
and enjoy.
For instance, one of our questions was about how many votes it took to pass a bill, for higher
ability learners, we could modify the question to ask about more steps in the lawmaking
process. Such as, how can a bill get started? How does a bill die? What happens if one house
approves it and the other doesn't?

2. Differentiation for demographics

 So that students of all ethnic backgrounds and orientations feel represented, we can
show examples of websites or articles that contain examples of different groups of
people, such as one article detailing a leader in the civil rights movement.
 For example, this article about Claudette Colvin: https://www.nwhm.org/articles/girl-

3. Differentiation for languages

 For students that speak different languages or have english as a second language, we
could find websites in their language, and have them explore and examine those
websites for their credibility in place of the english ones. For instance, instead of using
popular english and American sites, students who speak spanish, could explore a
spanish news site and list the sites credibility.
 For instance, here is an example of CNN but in Spanish. Students who speak Spanish
could be on here while others are on the English version. http://cnnespanol.cnn.com/

4. Differentiation for access & resources

 If not all students have access to an online device at home, then we will offer the
opportunity to learn in a 1:1 classroom environment. These devices will help students
who might not have the resources at home to learn effective methods for research and
to decipher the validity of online resources.

Anticipated Difficulties:

One difficulty that may arise, is students may not know and want to argue that their
favorite site or news station is biased. To combat this, we will show students exactly why their
favorite site is biased, explain to them the dangers of bias, and give them new credible sources
to which they can use to visit and still get their news.

Another, would be if students do not have enough background info on the topics of the
three branches of government, and they miss or don't understand the learning part of the
lesson. To combat this, we will always be around and help a student try and figure out the
question, if it was for instance the board game.