One side of the story
Considering both sides of the story
WALT: form our own opinion after considering both sides of the story
We used the teacher strike and four very different sources of information to learn about the importance of considering both sides of a story when forming our own opinion about a controversial topic.
In this clip you will see the group watching their first source and taking notes. Then we discuss the key ideas from the source, whether the source supports or is against the teacher strike. Lastly we discuss whether the source is biased.
Lesson reflection: My class was really into the teacher strike so I decided to keep going with lessons based around this topic. Because they were very opinionated, I felt that it was important for students to see that there are always two sides to a story, and that both sides do have valid reasons. It is really important for students to learn how to listen and understand both sides of a story. Teaching this explicitly will help students to become critical of what information they are being given.
Because this topic was quite controversial, it opened up a great conversation within the group. Some students could understand both sides of the story and were able to articulate 'the other side' of the story, and acknowledge that there were valid reasons behind a perspective that was not the same as their own. This even made some students change their own stance, as they changed from strongly supporting, to supporting the strike.On the other hand, some student still strongly stood firm in their own opinion. While they did take note of the other side of the story, this did not influence their own perspective.
At some points, the discussion got quite heated, as some students felt frustrated that others were so firm in their opinions. This, however, provided a great opportunity to discuss some important social skills, as students had to consider others opinions, actively listen, and respond respectfully to others who did not share the same opinion. This was a great chance to remind students that in life, you will not always agree with others, but what matters is how you consider the opinions of others and respond respectfully.
Using a range of sources was a good way for students to see that people have different perspectives around a topic. Although the Mike Hosking source was a challenge (he used a lot of metaphors, spoke fast and used unfamiliar words), I felt it was a challenge that my students were capable of understanding. I think it was useful to have such polarising clips, as it highlighted the impact of emotive language and bias. It was also useful to include seemingly 'neutral' clips, as it challenged students to explain why they thought a text was not bias (when in actual fact, it was bias because the artcile was only presenting one side of the story.