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iste 2012


ready-to-go mini lesson

"Think Aloud" Demonstration

It may be helpful to create a Red Flag Chart with three columns: Accused | Suspicious | Acquited (or similar terms). The findings in this mini lesson will all likely go in the Suspicious column. However, Red Flags may travel from one category to another as a result of investigative activity. Furthermore, students may not agree on where to place a Red Flag, which makes for a good discussion starter.

Think Aloud
This lesson takes place in the context of a science course where DNA, genetics and "designer babies" is the topic. It is used here for demonstration purposes--any topic could be used and substitute an appropriate "questionable" result.

Among results for "designer babies" is this Genochoice.com

Use this site to demonstrate how an investigative searcher might approach the material. Students need to see an example of good searching in practice. Focus on Authorship in this instance. Open the page and browse to find information about who wrote this or is responsible for its content. As you search, note the credits link on the page.

virgil wongClick this and point out information about the credits: Virgil Wong. Also note that this is not what you expected to find: a medical site written or designed by an artist and performance credits for several other people. Point out that now you have some good keywords to fact check. Proper nouns make good fact checking terms because they are so specific, so unique.

Start a list of things you find out about Virgil Wong. We have one Red Flag (he's an artist, not a medical expert?) Then have the students try fact checking Virgil Wong to discover "as much as they can" about this person. Everyone is free to search for information about Virgil--the more eyes looking for information the better.

After five minutes, call an end to searching and begin to collect information from the students. This may be done on a whiteboard, sticky notes or any online app that is made for group collaboration. Or you could call on students to report what they found, trying to get as complete a picture of Virgil Wong as possible.

Among the findings possible, he is:

Is thisreally the profile of a person you think would be the author of a credible site on "designer babies?" Why? Why not? (answers to Why Not are "Red Flags").

If we start to find Red Flags associated with online information, we need to be skeptical and not believe claims on the site without checking them out. More about Red Flags

Encourage students to do this type of investigative searching on other sites they come across while doing research.

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