STEM teacher William Reed from Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep in Chicago has shared a multipart lesson—“Coronavirus: What’s the Real Story?”—in a blog post on the website of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). In the lesson, students examine media representations about the coronavirus, review authoritative sources and what they say about the disease, and strategize how to evaluate any sources of information and claims that they make. Additionally Kathleen Currie Smith, a library media specialist, and Sean Law, a math teacher at Ledyard High School, in Connecticut, co-created “What’s the Deal with the Coronavirus?”—a lesson that combines an analysis of media stories about the novel coronavirus and a math activity to calculate the probability of catching the virus and dying from it, based on publicly available data.
In this ReadWriteThink lesson, students read or view a literary text, and then identify and discuss examples of propaganda techniques in the text. Students then explore the use of propaganda in popular culture by looking at examples in the media.
PBS affiliate WETA has made available a list of propaganda techniques that make false connections (such as the techniques of “transfer” and “testimonial”), or constitute special appeals (such as “bandwagon” and “fear”), or are types of logical fallacy (for example, “unwarranted extrapolation”).
The Mind Over Media web platform gives students aged 13 and up an opportunity to explore the subject of contemporary propaganda by hosting thousands of examples of 21st-century propaganda from around the world.