Media critic Douglas Rushkoff contributed heavily to this Frontline program that presents questions about "Generation Like," the generation that is being shaped by the insatiable desire to receive affirmation in the form of likes. Rushkoff's concern is that kids are being manipulated by companies in order to promote and sell their products. The companies are reaching out to the kids to reach their followers, and Rushkoff is concerned about the impact of this. This program does not directly teach
Throughout history, governments have manipulated public perception to advance their goals. Apparently, the U.S. government has spent millions of dollars to become better skilled at global propaganda using social media. This article doesn't suggest that the U.S. military is the only government doing this, of course. Things like this, however, should be shared and taught to our students so they can become skilled at recognizing propaganda, fallacies, and general social media manipulation.
Teachers have not only have the ability, but the obligation, to teach their students critical thinking skills, argues this piece. Importantly, teachers in all subject areas share this obligation. It doesn't fall solely on the shoulders of Language Arts teachers. This makes a great deal of sense to me. A science teacher, after all, is in a unique position to help students analyze and decipher the way issues such as climate change and pesticide use are presented in the media.
This article summarizes the findings of a Gallup poll, which seems to suggest that Americans believe children should learn critical thinking skills in school. These are described as "soft skills" that will help them become better, more informed citizens who will make more responsible decisions.
This resource from The Art of Manliness, Civic Skills, Manly Skills does a nice job of very simply summarizing and explaining Aristotle's The Art of Rhetoric for school-aged students. It contains some humorous illustrations, as well.
This poster, illustrating several common logical fallacies, is available to download for free in PDF form. You can order larger, higher-quality versions for $20.00. These would be really nice to hang in your English class.
This teaching bundle is a paid resource from Teachers Pay Teachers, designed to teach logical fallacies to students in seventh through 12th grades. It consists of a PowerPoint presentation and some PDF files, including worksheets and graphic organizers. Some of the fallacies covered include false analogy, begging the question, strawman, and hasty generalizations. This packet has received 23 ratings, most of them very positive.
This is a very thorough lesson plan to hep students develop an advanced understanding of logical fallacies often used in advertising. The teacher has provided common core standards that align to the lesson, as well as printouts and lists of resources to help students better understand how faulty logic influences our behaviors as consumers. A group assignment is given, which includes rubrics for self-evaluation.