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.


Carnegie Long List – continuing the challenge to read them all….

I’m setting myself the challenge to read all of the books on the long list before the winner is announced. 52 titles in 6 months. That’s 2 a week….. I’d better get reading!

Since my last post I have read….


 Tyme’s End by B.R. Collins

I really enjoyed this book and thought that as soon as I had finished it I would need to reread it! Why? Well the story is written in three parts each going back to an earlier generation linked to the big house called Tyme’s End. In effect the story is written and revealed backwards so you see the effects of people’s actions before you see the original events. The third part and final piece of the jigsaw, was, I feel, the weakest part and a bit of a let down. I didn’t re-read the book as I had thought I might after part two.

Dragonborn by Toby Forward 

A refreshing fantasy with orignal concepts, ideas, and consequences to using magic rather than a ‘wave wand to fix everything’ story. I loved it, even though it is the first part of a quartet, and I can’t wait to read the next one. It is aimed at younger readers but still remains an interesting read.


 Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough

 I really struggled to get into this book. Maybe it was because I am unfamiliar with the Long Lankin myth, or perhaps it was my timing (over Christmas), however I think the main frustration was that after every one or two paragraphs the story’s point of view changed with a different character  – sometimes bang in the middle of an event. This made it difficult to follow. Plus for a “Ghost” story it was fairly boring for the first half of the book, then a series of rapid exposition from random characters, followed by the ‘exciting’ but predictable ending. It took me AGES to finish and I really had to drag myself through the book. Boo! 

Books I’ve read so far….