Ask your students to conduct another five-minute round of evaluations, with the same groups from the previous activity. This time, students should focus on finding out information about the two organizations that published the original articles by visiting other websites.
In their groups, they should answer the following questions:
- What new information did you find by visiting other websites?
- Which websites did you find the most useful?
- How did this information change or reinforce the conclusions you reached in the first round?
- Which page do you now think is more credible?
Once students have finished the second round of evaluations, ask a representative from each group to present their group’s findings to the class.
Explain to your students that in this round, they practiced lateral reading, since they read about the organizations across the internet.
Use the think aloud teaching strategy to model lateral reading for your students and clarify any remaining questions about the two pages. First, search for the American Academy of Pediatrics, and show your students that the organization is a large and highly respected medical organization. (See for example the entry on the American Academy of Pediatrics from MedicineNet. Sources such as the New York Times link to research from the American Academy of Pediatrics.)
Then, search for the American College of Pediatricians. Show your students that this organization is a small splinter group of the American Academy of Pediatrics, which broke with the Academy over the issue of adoption by same-sex couples. The College advocates for approaches known to be harmful to LGBTQ people. (See for example the Southern Poverty Law Center’s entry on The American College of Pediatricians or Psychology Today’s article about the organization.)
Return to the The American College of Pediatricians’ article Bullying at School: Never Acceptable and show your students that the article subtly implies that there should not be bullying prevention programs that are specifically designed to reduce bullying against LGBTQ youth, by arguing that programs should not focus on “the special characteristic or activity of one study or group” or validate “individuals displaying temporary behaviors or orientations.”
Reading about the organizations on other websites can help students learn about the credibility of the organizations’ work or any biases they might have.
Finally, discuss with your students: How do you think you can apply what you learned in this activity to reading news that you see in your social media feeds or elsewhere online?