Evidence Locker Masthead

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

Chapter 1: [GRADES 9-12]

Mini Lessons - Grades 9-12

Mini Lesson #1

Link to Resource
  • Finish The Comic #2 – by Jarrett LernerUse this activity to help Digital Detectives reflect on sharing emotionally triggering information affects how others view them.
Notes for the Teacher
  1. Use the second and third frames of the comic to help Digital Detectives imagine a scenario in which they share information that triggers someone else. 
  2. The remaining frames are available for Digital Detectives to then consider how that behavior affects how others view them. 
  3. While the comic depicts a scenario that takes place in person, as a possible extension, have Digital Detectives discuss how the same behavior conducted online can also affect how others view them.
Mini Lessons - Grades 9-12

Mini Lesson #2

Link to Resource
  • Information Literacy Identity Webs: Use This activity to help Digital Detectives identify how personal identity and emotional triggers are connected AND how endorsing false information affects their identity.
Notes for the Teacher
  1. This mini-lesson was designed for learners to complete individually and requires personal reflection. 
  2. Note: One element of this lesson may need to be printed.
Mini Lessons - Grades 9-12

Mini Lesson #3

Link to Resource
  • News Literacy/Emotional Trigger Mix Tape: Use this activity/organizer to help learners synthesize and remember important concepts related to how emotional triggers can affect their ability to make responsible decisions online.
Notes for the Teacher
  1. Have Digital Detectives identify specific emotions that, when triggered, can affect their urge to trust/share content.
  2. Have Digital Detectives identify song titles that capture those specific emotions.
  3. Once their mixtape/playlist is complete, have Digital Detectives use the bottom half of the worksheet to explain the types of content/tactics that may trigger that emotion.
  4. As a possible extensions, have Digital Detectives create a follow up mixtape or playlist containing song titles that illustrate potential ways to “press pause” in order to mitigate emotional triggers before continuing to explore specific information.
  5. A tool like Spotify can even be used to create playlists that correspond with Digital Detective mixtapes. Share your links using the hashtag #digitaldetectivesquad
Mini Lessons - Grades 9-12

Mini Lesson #4

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 9-12

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 1Example 2Example 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. 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?
    2. Who “wins” when we react to information in the ways the algorithms set us up to?
    3. What are some ways that we can disrupt algorithms and make healthier decisions when online?
    4. What’s one thing you learned today that will stick with you after the lesson? How will that one thing change your behavior online?
Mini Lessons - Grades 9-12

Mini Lesson #6

Link to Resource

[GOOGLE JAMBOARD] What makes you most likely to trust and share? –  Headline Edition

  • Note: this link will force you to make a copy of the Jamboard. Once you’ve created your own copy, you’ll be able to make edits to customize this activity for your own Digital Detectives.
Notes for the Teacher

This activity was designed to be used with a teacher designated research topic. However, it could be adapted to have learners choose their own topics. The ultimate goal of this activity is for students to use each of the provided Jamboards to create headlines that would be most effective in triggering emotions that would get them to trust, share or engage with content  (related to this topic) without fully investigating it first. Directions for students are included in the Jamboard – linked above.

  1. After providing students with a research topic, have them individually brainstorm headlines** utilizing the kinds of word choice, punctuation, etc., that would be most effective in triggering the given emotion on each Jamboard. NOTE: These emotions can be changed by the teacher.
  2. Next, have students work in pairs to:
      1. share/explain their headlines with one another.
      2. Work together to combine and refine their work into a single headline.
      3. Share their headline on the Jamboard.
  3. In a whole group debrief, have students reflect on:
      1. The common threads seen throughout their classmates’ work.
      2. Why content creators might lean on these strategies and tactics while working to increase engagement with their content.
      3. How the appearance of these tactics in the content they consume might serve as red flags/a signal for students to press pause before engaging with content.

**While we use the term “headline” in this activity, it might be preferable to approach this work by having students instead create captions/descriptions of TikTok or YouTube videos.