Getting Informed

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 11106

When asked what's worse, ignorance or apathy, someone replied, "I don't know and I don't care!" Ignorance and apathy concerning the news are not viable options! Good, effective citizens pay attention!

categories

Civics, Social Studies

subject
Government
learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio:

Winston Churchill once said that the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. What did he mean by that? Do you agree or disagree? Why?

One of the main responsibilities of living in a democracy is to be informed. That takes effort — a daily effort, like exercise. How do we start? Let's find out how and make a plan!

Everyone has an opinion.

It's easy and natural to have an opinion, but developing an informed opinion is much more challenging. If we are talking about baseball or some distant event, hearing or voicing an uninformed opinion may be irritating or embarrassing. For a democracy, uninformed opinions about important issues can be disastrous.

Check out this video, Six of One – Obamacare vs. The Affordable Care Act, courtesy of Jimmy Kimmel Live:

 

Reflect on the video and answer the following questions:

  1. Why was the video entitled, "Six of One"?
  2. Why do you think they reacted differently to the two different labels?
  3. Judging by their responses, what do you think are their main sources of information?
  4. How could they have better informed themselves about this issue?

Now, let's not be too judgmental. Maybe you and I are just as bad. Challenge yourself by taking this Weekly News Quiz, courtesy of the New York Times. Click on the dates for the current week and give it a try!

Well, how did you do? Ask your parent or teacher to take the quiz and compare your results. For the ones you missed, try to locate recent news sources to clarify those news events. Then reflect and discuss:

  1. Where did we get the information we used for the right answers?
  2. Why didn't we know enough to get all the questions right?
  3. What difference does it make if we are informed about these kinds of issues or not?

Continue on to the Got It? section to examine some contemporary issues.

Elephango's Philosophy

We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.