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In this lesson, students examine the differences between a press release and a science news article and consider the importance of distinguishing the two.

Objective: Students will recognize the differences between a press release and a science news article.

Materials:

Power Point: The Story of the New Discovery – power point
Press Release Detector
ITEM A Scientists cast doubt
ITEM B New blow for asteroid theory

Time: one 50 minute class period, or four 10-15 minute mini-lessons

lesson – Press Release vs News Article

lesson – Press Release vs News Article (Editable Version)

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One of the best ways for students to glimpse inside the head of a reader is through read aloud / think alouds. When the teacher reads to the class, pauses and thinks out loud the things readers think and wonder about, she models for her students ways to effectively interact with the text.
In addition, selected articles that are of relevance to course content demonstrate to students that science is indeed on-going, current, and dynamic.

Objective: Students will participate in a read aloud / think aloud session during which they will consider reasonable responses to science articles being read.

Materials: One or more current and relevant science news articles available to show on screen and/or print to be distributed to students.
Sources for science news articles include:
www.scijourner.org (the official news site of SciJourn)
www.nytimes.com/pages/science
www.sciencenews.org
www.sciencenewsforkids.org
www.discovery.com
www.sciencedaily.com
www.livescience.com
www.ScientificAmerican.com
www.sciencenow.sciencemag.org
plus many more!
Press releases
www.sciencedaily.com
www.eurekalert.org
www.futurity.org
These websites are sources of press releases from research institutions. Press releases usually lack the unbiased critical view that science journalists offer.

Background Information
Read aloud / think aloud is an effective way to help students consider appropriate responses to materials that are being read. For an effective read aloud, the teacher must be prepared to model for the students the processes of reading, responding, and thinking about the content being read. Shown below is a transcript of a portion of a read aloud / think aloud session during which one of the articles in the packet was used. Please note that this is only an example. There are multiple ways to effectively communicate to students how a science news article might be read and interpreted.

lesson – Read Aloud Think Aloud

lesson – Read Aloud Think Aloud (Editable Version)

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