Alternative to Class this Thursday (10/31)

Being Halloween, many people were not overly excited to come spend time in class (can’t imagine why). So after a brief discussion we decided that in lieu of a face to face class this Thursday we are going to do a little web activity. It should take you about 1-2 hours. You have from now until Nov 6 to do it. Below are the instruction. It will be half of your participation points for the semester so don’t forget.


I briefly mentioned this when were discussing the Harouni article. This is an activity I’ve used with 6th graders for the past 3 years. It’s a good introduction to web research, evaluating information, and learning to trust your instincts.

  1. Select an article in Wikipedia on a topic about which you are very knowledgeable. Make sure it’s a detailed article. If it’s too short or incomplete you may not have enough content to work with.
  2. Read the article and look for things you do not trust or otherwise feel might be wrong. You are an expert on this topic so be critical. Find 3 examples. If you cannot find things you think are outright wrong, look for information that is incomplete, overly simplified, biased, or opinion not fact (opinions are not allowed in Wikipedia).
  3. Conduct research to discover the truth about your 3 items. Use multiple, reliable sources. Plan to cite at least 3 sources for each item. You may find that sources do not agree. That’s okay. Look for consensus and explain what you found.
  4. Create a document, presentation, video, whatever to share your findings. Share it by posting it here. Might need to upload to Google Drive and share the link. Include the following for each of your three statements:
    1. The statement you didn’t trust or felt was wrong.
    2. A summary of what you learned doing your research.
    3. Cite at least three sources you used to draw your conclusion.

Email me if you have questions. This isn’t a right/wrong type activity. It’s about making the effort to discover something about the nature of information on the web and an approach you might use with students to help them become better able to read discerningly and critically.


16 thoughts on “Alternative to Class this Thursday (10/31)

    • Nice job, but not sure your sources really backed up your position. 2 of your cost resources seemed to agree with Wikipedia and the third didn’t really refute it either but just showed some example how it might not always cost less. Also, I think your 3rd point was mostly about people looking locally and buying online to save money. That happens a lot and some retailers are looking for ways to keep customers from leaving and going online (what they meant by “combat” the practice). BestBuy, for example, will match online prices at times.

    • Well done. Assuming your resources did refute Wikipedia you should create an account (more likely to be accepted) and fix it.

    • Nice job. I think your examples were good but showed how Wikipedia is often not really wrong but just lacking some completeness.

    • Well done. I’m not sure the part about cheerleaders being sex symbols is really an opinion. If you read the full quote there it talks about a specific historical example and it’s impact on pop culture and included examples. I think that goes beyond opinion. But that’s just my opinion 🙂

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