Refer to the Adjustable-Assignments Model below and using this same model design four questions from Bloom's Thinking Taxonomy to assess your student's learning. Align your questions with at least four different levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.
Present three hoaxes/conspiracy theories as objectively as possible. For each, write a short paragraph that details as much information as the students can reasonable synthesize. These can be real conspiracy theories, such as NASA attempting to cover up the fact that the moon landings were hoaxes, or fanciful ones such as the "Bat Boy" tabloid stories from the 90's.
This lesson evaluates student's "detective skills", and connections can be made to argumentative writing, public speaking, critical thinking, and data analysis. This lesson is intended for 9th graders; at this level, students should be able to evaluate scientific data, relate it to a hypothesis, and formulate a thesis statement/argument that supports or rejects the hypothesis.
Adjustable/Assessment Model should include:
C. Pre-assessment tool to determine student's knowledge
d. What do they know at the beginning of the study?
e. What do they need to learn next?
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Anthropologists Todd Sanders and Harry G. West, observe that evidence suggests that a rather large cross-section of Americans nowadays finds conspiracy theories credible, especially in the realm of government. Famous governmental conspiracy theories in the twentieth and twenty-first century are the John F. Kennedy assassination, Watergate, and Benghazi.
Bloom's Taxonomy: Knowledge
1. Kennedy Assassination - When multiple sources such as the Warren Commission, the HSCA, and the Church Committee withheld their findings, much faith in the American government was lost. As a consequence, conspiracy theories took hold. In recent times, however, information has been released.
2. Watergate - When false statements were made in order to mislead the American people, President Richard M. Nixon and his administration became embroiled in scandal when it was discovered that he had known of the break-in of the Democratic National Headquarters and had participated in the cover-up. This action led to his subsequent resignation as he faced nearly certain impeachment.
3. Benghazi -The investigation of this conspiracy theory is ongoing with the now proven misrepresentation of the attack upon the American Embassy as having been ignited by an anti-Muslim video, Innocence of Muslims. According to various sources, events revolving around this attack "featured heavily" into the Presidential election of 2012.
Bloom's Taxonomy: Comprehension
After students are assigned a conspiracy theory, they can answer the following questions:
- What information have you found that causes you to agree or disagree with these claims?
- What information supports the opinion you have formed?
- Is there any information that could cause you to change your conclusions?
- How can you learn more about these conspiracy theories?
Bloom's Taxonomy: Application
Students can be asked to purpose their own conspiracy theories, stating why their choices are, in fact, such a theory. Higher end students can explore scientific and historic theories while others can propose ones pertaining to the school or community with which they are familiar. However, all students must have substantial evidence and avoid mere opinion or judgments based upon person dislikes, etc.
Bloom's Taxonomy: Analysis
Students must explain how their conspiracy theories compare or differ from the three used as explanation.
Bloom's Taxonomy: Synthesis
Students can project what would happen if there were a committee to examine their proposed conspiracy theories. How would this examination be handled?
Bloom's Taxonomy: Evaluation
Students can decide how much credibility and certainty should be given to conspiracy theories and by what criteria they should be judged.
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