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Teacher Lesson Return to "Dealing With Self-Doubt"
Dealing With Self-Doubt
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Media/News Literacy: How Do You Know That’s True? Reading, Discussion, Short Writing Responses

● Students will think critically about the information they gather from news items, the Internet, and other sources.
● Students will learn about how other teens have dealt with their insecurities and self-doubts.

Introduction: Write this phrase on the board or an easel pad: “Almost everybody is insecure about something.” Then write this list on the board or pad:

Sources of information:
People affected by events or situations
Information found in reputable or well-known publications or web sites
Surveys of people’s opinions or behaviors
Personal connections

Tell the group they are going to read a story about people’s self-doubts and insecurities, discuss whether the article is convincing, and then write a short response to the article. Ask them to take one minute to reflect silently on times when they doubted their abilities to do well in school, sports or other extracurricular activities, and social situations. Also ask them to consider if they ever felt insecure about a personal quality or trait: their intelligence, weight, height, speaking abilities, etc.

Reading: Say to the group, “We are going to read a story about how many people have doubts about their self-worth. The writer uses certain evidence to back up her claim that most people feel insecure about something. As you read the story, look for the sources she uses.”

You can have them read the article silently or ask for volunteers to take turns reading it aloud.

When they are finished reading, ask them to look at the sources of information list on the board. Ask for volunteers to name the sources she used. The group should identify the web site mentioned, the three interviews or profiles of the teens, and the Psychology Today magazine blog.

Ask the group if the sources used helped convince them that most people have insecurities. Had they ever heard of the web site or Psychology Today magazine? Would using other web sites or publications have been more convincing to them? Ask them what other sources from the board the writer might have used to make her story more convincing.

Writing: After reading the story, you have to write five sentences. The first sentence should tell your readers what the main point or argument of the story is. The next four sentences should tell your readers why the evidence persuades you, or fails to persuade you, that the story’s claim is correct.
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