Evidence Locker Masthead

This Lens In Action: Mini-lessons to Try Tomorrow!

Chapter 1: [GRADES 6-8]

Mini Lessons - Grades 6-8

Mini Lesson #1

Link to Resource
  • Finish The Comic #2 – by Jarrett Lerner! Use this activity to help Digital Detectives identify responsible decision making when emotion seems to be affecting their urge to engage with or share content. 
Notes for the Teacher
  1. Use the first three frames of this comic to have learners imagine a scenario in which their emotional response to information causes them to share potentially false content with a friend [in person].  Questions to think about: How might their friend react? How might this change their friend’s opinion of them?
  2. Option A: Use the remaining frames to have them “redo” that same scenario with their friend, this time without allowing the emotion to take cover. 
  3. Option B:  Use the remaining frames to have them imagine making a better choice when engaging with the content online, after having learned a lesson from the interaction with their friend. 
Mini Lessons - Grades 6-8

Mini Lesson #2

Link to Resource
  • Emotional Trigger Bingo: Use this activity to help Digital Detectives identify language that is potentially triggering to them (or others). 
Notes for the Teacher
  1. Detailed instructions for this activity are included in the link above. Some potential adaptations include:
    • Rather than printing individual bingo boards, use this image file as the background on a Google (other online) slide deck. Students can then add text boxes to each square to both “cover” triggers and record headlines. 
    • Although created so that students could work as partners, this game could also be used individually or as a small group activity. 
Mini Lessons - Grades 6-8

Mini Lesson #3

Link to Resource
  • PAUSE Journaling: Use this activity to help Digital Detectives reflect on proactive steps for managing emotional reactions to information.
Notes for the Teacher
  1. This activity is designed to be completed individually, but learners could also work in pairs.
  2. This activity can also be scaffolded, by having learners practice responding to one letter at a time, before moving onto additional concepts.
Mini Lessons - Grades 6-8

Mini Lesson #4

Link to Resource
  • Pressing Pause Choice Board – Use this activity to help Digital Detectives practicing strategies for “pressing pause” when they feel triggered by information.
Notes for the Teacher
  1. The complete board can be used, as is, to help Digital Detectives practice strategies for navigating emotions when feeling triggered.
  2. Because every learning environment is different, we recognize that not all of the strategies in the completed board will be practical in all instances. The blank board can be used with your Digital Detectives to create their own strategies for pressing pause.
Mini Lessons - Grades 6-8

Mini Lesson #5

Link to Resource

Algorithms + Emotional Triggers

All of the following resources may be used during this mini-lesson. See the procedure below for more details.

Notes for the Teacher

Activating Prior Knowledge:

Review the “big 7” (or 8) emotions (that are often triggered by content online) with learners. 

Potential resource: [INFOGRAPHIC] It’s Your Move: When Emotional Triggers Rig the Game

Direct Instruction: 

As a class, review the Let’s Talk About Algorithms video (note the moments when the video should be paused for discussion).

Guided Practice:

Part 1: As a class, one at a time, have students identify the emotion most triggered by each of the following media examples. Example 1, Example 2, Example 3

Note: We love using the tool Mentimeter for this, but you might also use Padlet, or Google slides as an alternative. 

Part 2: Then, ask the class to identify which of the examples of content (from above) would appear on more timelines if the algorithm was written to privilege or favor positive engagement (through emoji responses). Then ask them to identify which of the examples would appear on more timelines if the opposite were true. 

Further Reflection:

Have students independently review one of the starred resources from above (select the resource that is best suited for your learners). Then have them respond to one of the following reflection questions. This could be done in a journal entry, as a Flipgrid video, or as a written response to be turned in for feedback. 

Reflection Questions: 

    1. What’s one thing you learned today that will stick with you after the lesson? How will that one thing change your behavior online?
    2. Can you think of a time when something on the internet triggered a strong emotional response? What did those emotions make you want to do? How did the algorithm affect those urges?
    3. Who “wins” when we react to information in the ways the algorithms set us up to?
    4. What are some ways that we can disrupt algorithms and make healthier decisions when online?
Mini Lessons - Grades 6-8

Mini Lesson #6

Link to Resource

Facts VS Opinions VS Emotions (and Robots)!

All of the following resources may be used during this mini-lesson. See the procedure below for more details.

Notes for the Teacher
  1. Read Facts VS Opinions VS Robots, by Michael Rex, with learners to help them understand (or remind them of) the difference between facts and opinions. Then… 
  2. Instruct learners to record facts and opinions about an assigned (or choice!) research topic. Then… 
  3. Instruct learners to think about how they might use emotions to convince someone else that an OPINION about their topic is a fact. Then… 
  4. Instruct learners to create headlines to
        • demonstrate their understanding of how emotions can be used to influence and…
        • share the emotions they were trying to trigger.