Year 7 Information Literacy Programme: Reading for Bias

Reading for Bias

 

Year 7’s often struggle with Reading for Bias so I spend two sessions on this topic  – starting with a basic session looking at Fact and Opinion, followed by this session on Reading for Bias.

 

 We start this session with a quick look back at the previous lesson on Fact and Opinion- reminding them why the question of “Which is the best college in the Academy” causes such disagreement!

 

I then read them a story called “The Wolf’s Story” by Toby Forward (ISBN:  978 1406301625) 

 

 

This book tells the Wolf’s side of the story or what really happened to little red riding hood.

 

Or does it? 

 

Can YOU trust a wolf?

 

 

 

 

We then answer some critical questions about the story – Is the author / wolf biased? Is it one sided? Are all points of view included? Are bits of the story missing or changed?

 

We decide that we can’t trust this source so we need to read for bias, and look for accounts from the other sides of the story – Little Red, the axe/woodsman; Grandma and Little Red’s Mother (What did she put in that basket?).

 

We have some great discussions about the different versions of the story, and the origins of the story, which as a fairy tale has its’ roots firmly in the oral tradition of storytelling, which can end up being a bit like chinese whispers.

 

I end the session with a short video about Wikipedia and a discussion about how students need to check information found on Wikipedia with other more reliable sources. We then discuss why Wikipedia needs to be ‘read with a questioning mind’, and why we need to check other sources such as Britannica encylopedia. Looking briefly at the editorial process and peer review.

 

Wikipedia and Bias

Here is a very short video I put together about Wikipedia turning 10 earlier this year (2011) and how you have to read for bias.

In many cases no-one knows who puts the information onto Wikipedia as the video says it could be a professor, a mad professor or a mad man.

So if you do choose to start your research by looking at Wikipedia then do remember to check all the information in other reliable sources – like Britannica Encyclopedia – which you can gain access to via the Oliver Homepage – either through the VLE or check out the quick link on this page!