Lesson Plan for Instruction Session on Determining a Source’s Currency

Here is a lesson plan that teaches students about determining a source’s currency.

LESSON PLAN
Objectives:
1. Students will know to always check the date the information they are using was produced.
2. Students will understand that subjects or fields of inquiry that are rapidly changing require the most current information.

Set-Up:
-Write the following questions (or others the teacher may choose) on sentence strips:
1.Who was the first president of the United States?
2.What is one of NASA’s most current projects?
3.What are the latest developments in brain research?
4.Why did the American colonies declare their independence from England?
5.What were the major influences on the French Impressionist movement?
-Have projection screen set up.
-Have computer set up and internet connectivity established.
-On the board, write the word “Currency” and the following questions:
1.Does up to date information make a difference to my project/research?
2.How up to date is this information?
3.How recent are the facts and figures?
4.Where can I look to find the date the information was produced in my source?

Procedure:
-Ask students what they think is the definition of the word currency. Have students discuss the first question: Does up to date information make a difference to my project/research?
-Discuss the difference between subjects or fields of study which are developing rapidly and others which are relatively stable. For example, biology is a field that is rapidly changing. The
subject of the United States Civil War, on the other hand, is relatively stable.
-The teacher holds up each of the above question strips and asks students to consider the following:
1.Which questions require the more current sources?
2.For which topics or questions would the currency of the information be important?
3.For which topics or questions would the currency of the information not affect the usefulness of the information?
4.Using the students’ answers, create two lists on the board– Current Information (Important) and Current Information (Less Important). Ask students to consider why the date of the
information is essential for the one group of topics and not as important for the other.
-Have students answer the following question: What is the weather forecast for tomorrow in your local area? Look at the following web site. http://www.weather.com/common/home/localweather.html
-Have students consider the following:
1.Does up to date information make a difference to my project/research?
2.How up to date is this information?
3.How recent are the facts and figures?
4.Where can I look to find the date the information was produced in my source?
-Now have students answer the following question: What is the average temperature for your local area? Look at the following web site: http://www.weather.com/common/home/climatology.html
-Again have students consider the following:
1.Does up to date information make a difference to my project/research?
2.How up to date is this information?
3.How recent are the facts and figures?
4.Where can I look to find the date the information was produced in my source?

Assessment:
Have students check the dates of books and other resources they are using in their class. Have them create a chart that lists the subject, the title of the source, the date the information was created and a determination (yes or no) on whether each subject requires the most current information.

Hope this lesson plan was helpful!

Jennifer

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