News Literacy Lesson Plans for Math in Grades 4 - 12

08/26/2014 4:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

We would like to talk with teachers interested in helping develop model news literacy lesson plans for math in grades 4 - 12. Teachers selected for the project will be compensated $3,000 each. The project is coordinated by the American Society of News Editors and the Journalism Education Association, and funded with a grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
Interested teachers would be provided with news literacy lesson plans and activities that could be modified and adapted for the math classroom or the teachers could create original lesson plans. Through this process, we hope to learn how math teachers view news literacy. We are also working on similar projects with national organizations and teachers in social studies, language arts and science.

What is news and information literacy? Simply put, it is the ability to use critical thinking skills to judge the reliability and credibility of news reports and information sources. In the information age, more data is produced in a single second than can possibly be consumed in a lifetime so the need for news and information literacy has never been more important. Research suggests that students who develop news and information literacy skills become more active and engaged citizens. Many schools across the nation already teach news literacy and more research on the impact of these efforts is underway.

One way to approach news literacy is with the REALLY technique developed by Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute. 

See REALLY? Teaching Students to Ask Critical Questions

Is this REALLY the story? Is this REALLY the whole story? Is this REALLY physically possible? Is this REALLY what I need to know? What do my readers and listeners REALLY want to know? This approach uses five questions to focus on this intersection of skepticism, curiosity, openness, reporting, critical thinking and knowledge.

1. Who said it?
2. Can I trust the source?
3. Is that person biased on this subject?
4. Am I biased on this subject?
5. Where can I get reliable information to help me frame my opinion?

An overview of news literacy can be found in the Six Principles to Guide Producers and Consumers of News and Information. This guide and other news and information literacy resources are available at:

Interested teachers should email Le Anne Wiseman at or call 573-884-2689 for more information.

The ATOMIC Mission is to ensure that every Connecticut student receives world-class education in mathematics by providing vision, leadership and support to the K-16 mathematics community and by providing every teacher of mathematics the opportunity to grow professionally.

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