Arguments in Technology 

The pros and cons of our favorite tech tools! 

Lesson Plan for Information Literacy Project 



  • RI.8.6- Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints

  • RI.8.9- Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation

  • W.8.8- Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation

  • SL.8.2- Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g. visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g. social, commercial, political) behind its presentation

ISTE Standards for Students:  

  • 3.  Research and information fluency:  Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

    • Plan strategies to guide inquiry

    • Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media

    • Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks

Lesson Outline

Day 1:  Overview of Information Literacy 

Materials:  Computers, sticky notes, paper, pencil/pen, Arguments in Technology website, LCD projector 
Initiating Activity:  Have students fill in the form located on the Home page of this website.  Encourage them to give a detailed explanation about how they search the web.  Read a few sample responses from students.
  • 1.  After students have completed the warm up, explain that they will be starting to look at different perspectives on different arguments about popular technologies by reviewing the introductory materials on the Home page.
  • 2.  Show students the slideshow about Critical Information Literacy. 
  • 3.   Have students take notes as they listen to the presentation.  
  • 4.  Have students count off to form five groups.  Ask each group to look at the site next to their group number on the Information Literacy page.  Give groups about 10 minutes to look at the site and then ask them to discuss what they found in terms of what they learned from the Information Literacy slideshow.    
 Closure:  Have students complete the WebSmarts quiz on the Information Literacy page.  Ask them to write their score on a sticky note and place it on the board in the front of the room.  (This can be done as a homework assignment if you run out of time.)  

Day 2 and 3:  Strategic Searching 

Materials:  Computers, Arguments in Technology website, List of student groups from previous day, SEARCH Strategies worksheets, pen/pencil, LCD projector
Initiating Activity:  Ask students to sit in the groups they were in yesterday.  Have one student log into a computer and ask the group to search for an answer to the following question:  What is the most popular video game on the market today?  (Responses should be varied but the teacher should ask students where they got their information.  Make a list of the sites on the board.  Ask them how they know these are accurate sites about the popularity of video games.)  
  • 1.  Ask students to share out on the process they followed to find their results.  Remind students of the SEARCH method you discussed in class yesterday.  
  • 2.  Have students watch Web Search Strategies in Plain English before explaining the project to them.  
  • 3.  Once you have discussed what students have seen in the video, go to the Internet Project page of this website and review the project expectations. 
  • 4.  Students will then be given the remaining class time as well as the next day's class to work on completing the Search component of their projects.  
Closure:  Have students complete the form on the Internet Project page once they have searched for sites.  

Day 4 and 5:  Presenting Findings and Reflecting
Materials:  Computers, Website Evaluation worksheet, Venn Diagrams, Google Presentation tool, pen/pencil, LCD projector 
Initiating Activity:  Now that students have a list of websites they might want to use for their project, you want them to think about which are the best ones to use.  Ask them to give each site they have found a rank from 1-5, 1= the best site to use and 5= the worst site to use.  Ask for students to share out what they have said about their sites.
  • 1.  Let students know that today they will be critically looking at the sites they want to use for their project.  Ask for volunteers to review the 5 W's they learned about on the first day of this mini-unit.  Demonstrate how to use the Website Evaluation sheet using the website Howard County Public Schools website.  
  • 2.  Once students are clear on how to evaluate sites, instruct them to use the Website Evaluation sheet for their group to evaluate at least 4 of their websites.
  • 3.  After they have finished evaluating the sites, they will work together to fill in the Venn Diagram for their particular argument.
  • 4.  The last step in their project will be to construct a slideshow presentation to present their findings and the process they went through to complete the project.
Closure:  Groups will present their slideshow presentations to the class.