Curriculum Design Online

You Say You Want the Truth? You Can't Handle the Truth! Or Can You?"

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"Putting the ME in Media Literacy, an Integrated, Interdisciplinary, Thematic, Standards-based Unit on Discovering Personal Truth" "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?"

These lines are part of our cultural literacy; most teenagers can finish the quote. But what, really, is truth? Is truth, like beauty, subject to the eye of the beholder? Can truth be manipulated? Is there any truth besides the whole truth?

Questions regarding truth are particularly important to adolescents today. With more disposable income than any generation in history, teenagers have become the target of multiple mediums of advertising. Confronted with so many choices, from choosing political candidates to accepting religious ideology, from buying clothes and vehicles to choosing the credible sources of information, students need to have the ability to discern their own truths. Developing students' savvy in media literacy involves helping them construct and apply objective criteria to evaluate information in print and non-print sources, including analyzing an author's purpose and use of propaganda techniques, determining the validity, reliability and bias of sources, and distinguishing fact from opinion. Teaching media literacy is essentially teaching critical thinking. In this unit of study, students will apply critical thinking about truth and manipulation tactics that impact our perceptions of truth through the study of a novel, political speeches, consumer and political advertising, commercials, music, public service announcements, documentaries, and the internet and other technologies.