Lesson Plan

Current Events Using Social Media

Students will discuss, defend and question current issues and communicate their thoughts using social media.
Barbara H.
Education Program Manager, Mid-Atlantic/D.C. Metro Area - Common Sense Education
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Students will be able to...form an educated stance on current issues by identifying supporting research and constructing an argument that defends thier opinions.  Students will be able to use social media in a responsible and meaningful way by communicating  their thoughts in a respectful and thoughtful manner to an audience beyond thier classroom.  

English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 9 - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Read & Write an Educated Response to a Current Issue from KQED Do Now.

1.   Go to KQED's Do Now Site: http://blogs.kqed.org/education/category/do-now/

2.  Choose a current event that applies to your subject area.  KQED posts current events in the following subjects regularly: Civics, Science and Arts and Pop Culture but a lot of the current events can extend to other content areas.  

3.  Read over the original question and article that is included in the DoNow material.   Click on the supporting materials and review them.   There is usually at least one video and another article that applies to the current issue addressed in the original post and then there may be another video or podcast as well as a supporting document.  

4.  Create a rubric for your students to follow while completing these current events.   Emphasize the importance of citing information and using information from the text to support their claims.  

5.  Have them follow responsible social media use.    KQED has some great information about using Social Media responsibly.

 You can also visit Common Sense for the Digital Citizenship Module on Online Communities -  https://www.commonsensemedia.org/educators/lesson/building-community-online

Student Instructions

 Initial Posting on the DoNow Discussion Board.  

***This needs to be completed in the first 3 days. 
(Tuesday - Thursday or Friday - Sunday - depending on the Content area we participate in.)  We will spend time in class getting this part started.***

1. Read the Article and click on the supporting materials for the DO NOW question of the week. 

2. Respond to the Question using information from the DO NOW article or video that you read & at least 1 outside source to support your claim.  Your response should be at least 5 solid sentences but you will most likely need more to answer the question completely.

3.  The response should include the link to the article, cited correctly and an MLA or APA citation to the information from an outside source.

4.  Come up with a question so other members can reply to your comment.  Your thoughtful question should engage others to participate and/or bring up a new idea to the discussion.

2 Communicate your thoughts to a larger audience using Twitter to get more students engaged in the conversation.

1.  Have students create a Twitter that is used only for school purposes so it is easier to identify your students.

2.  Create a hashtag that is unique to your class so you can identify your student responses quickly.  

***Make sure  you are monitoring student responses regularly.*** 

Student Instructions

1.  Compose a Tweet from your KQED Twitter account we created in class that summarizes your position.  Remember your tweet needs to be under 140 characters - for those unfamiliar with twitter. 

2. Compose a Tweet with your question to the KQED audience.

3 Reply to other students outside of the school using Tagboard to search hashtags.

Free, Free to Try, Paid

Use tagboard to monitor student responses by looking up the hashtag that corresponds to your classroom and or the DoNow conversation.  

Tagboard will collect all the comments that are attached to the hashtag you search so you can view all comments in one place.  

Student Instructions

 Responding to DoNow Twitter comments:

1.  Look up the hashtag - that applies to your current event.  

2.  Respond to at least 3 other student's twitter comments.  

3.  Respond to any questions or responses that are made to you either on the original KQED Dicussion Board or Twitter.