Common Core State Standard L.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: Video of a current news event is presented for discussion to encourage student participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the video. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.
Russian charged with interfering with 2018 election
The Justice Department has charged a Russian national with interfering in the upcoming November election. It says a Russian woman from St. Petersburg managed a $35 million budget for online propaganda to "sow division and discord" ahead of the midterms. Topics like immigration, gun control, the Confederate flag, race relations, LGBTQ issues and the Women's March are being use to "inflame passions" among voters, according to last week’s criminal complaint.
■Class discussion: Are Russia’s online trolls harming American democracy? Why or why not? Do our own divisions make us especially vulnerable to foreign propaganda? Are we gullible and quick to believe conspiracy theories and ridiculous stories about people “on the other side”? Why are we so divided? Are politicians and special interest groups making the situation worse? Do the computer algorithms of social media and search engines divide us into opposing online groups? What are “echo chambers” and how do they work?