Group Activity: Write Your Own Headlines
Published: Aug 20, 2020
Contributor: Chelsea Kaufman
License: CC BY NC SA 4.0 license – Allows revisions and additions but forbids commercial use.
Students are placed into groups and provided with information concerning the methodology and results of a recent poll which has received media coverage. Groups are tasked with writing a headline they would use if it was up to them to report the results, and each group shares this headline with the class. The instructor then reveals actual headlines written by various media outlets about the poll in question leads the class in a discussion about whether the various headlines accurately represent the poll results and why student groups and media outlets may have decided to emphasize different aspects of the results. This lesson should teach students information literacy skills that will help them to evaluate political reporting online. In a class covering survey methodology in greater detail, additional discussion questions could focus on that topic as well. I most often use this activity in research methods courses, but it is appropriate for use in many other courses as well.