NF UNIT P2 Day 2

Day 2

Poem A Day:


Throughout this part of the unit, I am using the first half of class to teach or review elements of nonfiction and model my approach to the project I gave them. The second half of class I am giving to students to work on their projects.

Today’s objective was: Students will understand how confirmation bias and values-based information limit critical thinking. (this tied into the song)

I defined the terms “confirmation bias” and “values-based information” and students took notes in their notebooks.

Then we watched this amazing Ted Talk about how websites like Google and Facebook filter information you receive online (the talk is from 2011 so we thought about how much that has changed in either direction since then) Great conversation.

Next, I discussed my own biases and my tendency to find information that confirms them. I just read and am currently teaching Dave Eggers’s Zeitoun in my American Lit class.  It is a nonfiction book about one man’s experience in New Orleans during and after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It is a great read and lends itself well to the project students are working on.

I told students that I am doing the project, just like they are, and that this is the book I chose. Every class, I show them where I am in the project and what my research and thinking looks like, before I dismiss them to do their own projects.

I started out by talking about the protagonist of my book: Abdulrahman  Zeitoun. In the book he is portrayed as a successful business owner, hard-worker, loving husband and father and heroic neighbor. I told them, I may want to do more research about the man. So I googled his name (with my smartboard on, while students watched and participated).

The first results to pop up were these:

About 21,000 results (0.56 seconds)
Clearly, there is more to this guy. The students were rapt. We spent a good 20 minutes falling down the rabbit hole, reading source after source, watching videos and learning more about this guy.
I told students, they just did research. They couldn’t believe they enjoyed it. lol.
I also told students about a few other things I was thinking about researching from my book to show them that they have some options and range when deciding how to approach their projects.
Those include: Camp Greyhound and Black Water.

Active Engagement:

Students delved into their books, and took notes searching for things to research for their projects. I conferred one-on-one with them to see what books they chose and what ideas they were thinking about learning more about. They ALL had books and ALL had an idea of where they were going with the project.


I reminded students to read their novels and keep on thinking!