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Purpose:This lesson does several things – it introduces sources that you want students to know about and teaches them the acronyms that are commonly used to describe these sources. It also teaches the important skill of developing a brief description that can be used in both articles and conversation and asks students to become aware of the relevant websites.

Describing Your Sources: Looking for the Right Phrase (Editable Format)

Describing Your Sources- Looking for the Right Phrase (pdf)

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This lesson will help students observe and incorporate relevance in their science journalism articles.

“Information is made relevant to readers. Reported findings are linked to local concerns and new applications are considered. . . Readers’ implied questions are recognized and answered.”
SciJourn Standards for Scientific Literacy

Objective: Students will recognize and include a degree of relevance in
science journalism articles.
Materials: Ask me if I care?
relevance strips  (cut into individual strips)
lack of relevance strips (cut into individual strips)
Time: approximately 15-20 minutes

lesson – Who Cares – Making it Relevant

lesson – Who Cares – Making it Relevant (Editable Version)

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SciJourn Read-Aloud

WEBSITE  CREDIBILITY

In this seed activity, the teacher models the examination of several websites for clues of credibility. It is important to repeat similar activities with different websites to help students become familiar with common credibility clues.

Read Aloud – website credibility

Read Aloud – website credibility (Editable Version)

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Beginning or ending each class with a short (5 minute or less) news briefing about current issues in science keeps students aware of the science that surrounds them. It might be described as similar to briefings the president receives each day (though, of course, much shorter) – important updates for important people. In addition, informed students will have a wide array of topics from which to choose when they write articles later.

Read Aloud – news briefing

Read Aloud – website credibility (Editable Version)

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SciJourn Read-Aloud

LEDES

The lede of a news story is the hook that grabs the reader, usually at the beginning of the article. In this Seed Activity, students are shown several different possible ledes for the same story and are asked to decide which is most interesting.

Background: The spelling of lede is correct. The term was originally used by journalists to differentiate from lead (the metal) from which type for printing was made. Today, journalists continue to use the lede spelling.

Activity: Read and/or show each of the following ledes to the students. Ask which might entice a reader to read the article. Have students measure each lede on a scale of 0-10 with 10 being the most interesting or most likely to engage the readers.

 

Read Aloud – ledes

Read Aloud – ledes (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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SciJourn Read-Aloud

THE LEDES AND NOTHING BUT THE LEDES

Read Aloud – ledes and nothing but the ledes

Read Aloud – ledes and nothing but the ledes (Editable Version)

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SciJourn Read-Aloud

FIND THE FLAW

Read Aloud – attributions – find the flaw

Read Aloud – attributions – find the flaw (editable version)

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SciJourn Read-Aloud

Attributed Sources: Why are they There?

Read Aloud – attributed sources – why there

Read Aloud – attributed sources – why there (editable version)

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