How to Teach 'Analysing information from the media' in Form One


Welcome to UNIT 20.2

PREVIOUSLY: In Unit 20.1, we discussed about the various ways of learning and teaching the sub topic “Interpreting poems"  in Form One.    

IN THIS UNIT 20.2, we will cover the sub topic “Analysing information from the media" in Form One.

TOPIC’S INFORMATION
Main Topic: ANALYZING INFORMATION FROM THE MEDIA
Sub Topic: Analysing information from the media
Periods per sub topic: 7
Class: Form One

DESCRIPTION OF THE SUB TOPIC
We read various texts; from text messages, newspaper articles, to books. These materials contain various information. However, these texts may have important or unimportant information. In this case, students should have the knowledge of identifying factual information from several media and other sources of information.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE OF THE LESSON
In this sub topic/lesson, the student should be able to identify facts from media.
  1. TEACHER’S PREPARATION STAGE
This stage is about the preparation of the teacher before undertaking the lessons of the particular sub topic. These are all activities, procedures, materials, teaching aids, and games prepared by the teacher for teaching a sub topic:
  1. Putting heads together: Introducing the topic/lesson properly. Organising how students will be able to get to know what is the topic/lesson about. It is where teacher makes sure that students are going to be in his/her train. It includes brainstorming and familiarisation of the topic/lesson with the students.
This makes students stay together with the teacher. It is at this stage students can understand what is going to be discussed in the particular topic.
In this sub topic/lesson; the teacher should brainstorm with the students on how they identify that this information is true or factual and which clues or details they use to prove that that the particular information has facts, i.e, it is factual information.
The teacher has also to discuss with the students on the features of factual information from the media. Some of features are:
·         Factual information is objective. This means that factual information does not base on feelings, perceptions or emotions.
·         The factual information can be proved scientifically.
·         Factual information is always systematic.
The teacher may select various texts from a number of sources like media sources such as newspapers, TV, brochures and magazines. These media sources have a plenty of factual information articles.
  1. Preparation of Materials. A teacher has to decide on the teaching/learning materials he/she is going to use.
In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher will have to prepare and use media like TV, radio, newspapers in English, and brochures as well as other varieties of texts on numerous issues that express factual information.
  1. Target Practice. Showing and Guiding Students to the practice of the grammatical functions of the sub topic. A teacher has to show or guide students to the target practice of the grammatical functions of the sub topic.
In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher will guide students to practice how to identify facts from media by applying these grammatical structures or the equivalent grammatical structures:
  • Suffering from AIDS,
  • Genital mutilation is not healthy.
  • Mining industry is the leading employer.
  • Car accidents produce dependent people.
  • Prevent.......
  • 80% of victims are from...
  • Deforestation.....
  • Last year, more than 500 acres were burned...
  • Stop gender violence.

These are the expressions that guarantee that the expressed information is factual, hence reliable and systematic.
  1. Context-Based Practice. A teacher leads students to the discussion on how the target grammatical functions practised earlier can be applied or integrated into the contexts and situations. The students are guided by the teacher to apply the learnt skills in relevant contexts and situations like school and library.
In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher will engage students into the situations like home and school so that students can practice more on relevant contexts. The text or passage about family life or school life can contain facts. When the teacher supply such kinds of texts, he/she expects students to use the knowledge they have attained to identify and analyse factual information from the particular texts.
  1. Vocabulary Building Practice. At this time, teacher discusses with the students on the vocabularies and phrases to apply in the already mentioned contexts and situations.
In this sub topic/lesson, the most commonly applied vocabularies are various. Some of them are: depending on the text but including vocabulary on HIV/AIDS, gender, family life, education and environment.

  1. TEACHING AND LEARNING PROCEDURES, ACTIVITIES AND GAMES
Guide the students to the full lesson procedures, activities and games for better understanding of the sub topic by following these activities:
ACTIVITY ONE: Brainstorming. The teacher has to brainstorm with the students on the sub topic/lesson's aspects through oral questions with answers, pair works, and group discussions of all important concepts to get students on track.
In this activity, the teacher has to use the materials prepared to brainstorm with students on the key concepts and areas of the topic. The teacher has to brainstorm with students on the features of factual information (LINK) and how factual information from the media can be identified. These two aspects are important for students' understanding of the topic and its content.
In this stage, the teacher should also introduce students to the features of factual information such as:
  • Use of correct numbers and figures.
  • Use of percentages
  • Use of real people's names and places
  • Use of realistic terms and expressions such as due to, in fact, etc.
  • Use of quality and quantity adjectives like many, a lot, best, etc
Emotional and personal words such as, I think, I assume, I feel that etc are not used when presenting factual information.
Look at the following two examples:
  • Many students have failed English Test.
  • 30 students out of 50 have failed English Test.
In these sentences, the first sentence expresses nonfactual information because it does not contain measurable facts like numbers. But the second sentence is factual because it contains facts; hence it clearly expresses the message.
All these characteristics characterise the language of factual information.
ACTIVITY TWO: Teacher's Demonstration. The teacher applies his/models or examples so as to bring the topic/lesson and the students into the real or common sense of the topic/lesson.
In this activity, the teacher practically demonstrates the ways of identifying facts from several media. He/she can play the audio speech or read a short article from the newspaper and identify facts from it. The students should pay attention to the clues that are applied when analysing factual information from the media. The teacher can read the following text and demonstrate to students how to identify and analyse factual information from it:
The Text
The director for prevention in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Fadhili Mohamed, has said that the government has set a goal to eliminate cholera by 2027. He said that they will have total cooperation from development partners like World Health Organization (WHO). He said the government through the Ministry of Health was committed to ending cholera in the islands for good through ongoing interventions mainly awareness and cleanliness of surroundings and improved sanitation.
Questions
Who is the director for prevention of cholera?
What development partner is the government going to cooperate with?
When does the Ministry of Health expect to end cholera?
Mention three ways the Ministry of Health is going to use to end cholera?
ACTIVITY THREE: Students' Demonstration. The teacher guides students how they can apply a model like that of a teacher. The skills demonstrated by the teacher should now be demonstrated/applied by them. Here students need to be guided on how to use given expressions, structures, vocabulary, and phrases or similar ones.
In this activity, the teacher will guide students to identify and analyse facts from selected texts/media. The teacher will give them the text to read and ask them some questions about the text:
The text:
Cholera is an infectious and often fatal bacterial disease of the small intestine, typically contracted from infected water supplies and causing severe vomiting and diarrhoea. It is always linked to filthiness. Zanzibar was hit by a prolonged cholera since September 2015 to October 2016 in which more than three thousand people were infected resulting into about 60 deaths.
The problem prompted tough measures on observing health regulations which included closing down of all street snack cafés, food stalls, improved sanitation, and treatment of water, alongside mass awareness. The government said that it will ensure increased resources and partners, strengthened health systems, and committed community participation.
The Development partners have reminded Tanzanians about hygiene including use of toilets, treated water through boiling, hand washing and keeping the environment clean.
Questions
1)    Mention two pronounced symptoms of cholera.
2)    What is always linked to cholera?
3)    What is the meaning of 'prolonged cholera'?
4)    When was Zanzibar hit by cholera?
5)    How many people were infected?
6)    How many people died?
7)    What tough measures were taken to prevent cholera?
8)    What things were ensured by the government?
9)    What things were reminded to Tanzanians by development partners?
ACTIVITY FOUR: More Contextual Students’ Demonstration. The teacher takes/leads students to the real situations or contexts where they can apply what they have mastered. Here speaking, reading or writing activities are involved.
In this activity, the teacher will give students the newspaper article to read and analyse factual information from it. To do this, students will be in groups and the teacher will ask them the following as far as identifying and analysing factual information from the media is concerned:
  • By using guiding questions, students will write down facts found in selected texts.
  • By using the guiding questions provided by the teacher, students will have to present their group work and respective answers for class discussion.
  • Also, by using teacher's examples and demonstrations, students will be guided to practice pointing out facts from newspapers, TV, and brochures.
ACTIVITY FIVE: Winding up the topic/lesson. Here teachers summarise the topic/lesson by emphasizing the importance of the sub topic/lesson and suggesting other related aspects of the sub topic/lesson.
ADDITIONAL ACTIVITY: As a teacher, what other activity can be applied in this sub topic/lesson? You can always drop your alternative activity or activities to this article so as to improve teaching and learning of O’ Level English Blog! (OLE).
REFLECTION
Ask students to discuss how they realise factual information from various contexts like home, street, and school. Ask them when they think that the information they have got is factual and not nonfactual. These are the things that happen daily in every society and students need to know how to identify and analyse them.
ASSESSMENT
A teacher should design an evaluation for students by using appropriate assessment tools like oral questions or assignments so that to see if the student is able to identify facts from media.
ASSESSMENTS
Assessment #01: Group work
In groups, ask students to read a particular newspaper article and answer the guiding questions as they identify and analyse factual information
Assessment #02: Pair works
In pairs, students have to read a text on a certain topic. The teacher supplies piece of text to one member of the pair. This pair member should read it to fellow student who in turn should respond by giving out factual information from it.
Assessment #03: Individual work
Produce as many as copies of a certain text and give them to students. The students should individually respond to the set questions.
Note: You can give students more individual works, pair works, and group works to facilitate their interaction and understanding of the sub topic or lesson. As English language teacher you have to give students more works to do. Because language is meant to be largely spoken and written, the teacher should rely on written exercises and notes. Instead students have to learn English language by vigorously exercising individually, in pairs, and in groups.
SUMMARY/CONCLUSION
The students have to be reminded that our communities have all sources of information; factual and nonfactual. They should be taught how important it is to possess the skills of identifying and analysing factual information from various contexts and media. This factual information is not only helpful to them, but even to the whole society.
NOTE: These stages explained above are not necessarily covered in a single lesson of single or double period. Remember that this is the guide for teaching the whole sub topic which has periods ranging from 6 to 20. So, the teacher's task is to divide these stages according to the total number of periods for a particular sub topic.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION?
This article is about how to study and teach "Analysing factual information from the media" in Form One. As a student or teacher, what is your opinion on how to study and teach this sub topic/lesson?
Your opinion is worth and I believe that it can make these materials better for our own consumption.
You are Welcome!

Resources
Msuya, Abdallah "Cholera remains worrisome in Isles". Daily News, Wednesday 8th 2017. Page 5.

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