Making judgments: Who is looking at my social media and what do they see?

35 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT make judgments and form an argument by watching a short film and reading an article about responsibility on social media.

Big Idea

Does social media have consequences? Can you handle them?


This unit is designed for students to gather information about their right to privacy. Students are going to read articles, watch videos and listen to a guest speaker to gather information to form their own argument about their right to privacy.  They will work with a Socratic Seminar, small groups and individually to record their thinking on the issues.  In addition, social media responsibility is an important life lesson for students.  It's a good opportunity for us to discuss privacy concerns online.  

Warm Up--Just start thinking

5 minutes

Students enter class on this first day of a new unit and spend five minutes responding to this prompt (W.9-10.10):


Pretend that you are an adult working in your chosen career field.  Your boss calls you into his office and says you have been fired based on your Facebook and/or Twitter.  How do you feel about this?  Are there some occupations that should be subject to criticism of social media?  Should colleges look at social media to decide if you are accepted to the school? 


I began in this way to get students interested in our topic of the new unit.  I imagine students will have some very distinct opinions on this subject.  

Mini Lesson--Time to gather information

15 minutes

Students will view the short TED talk by Juan Enriquez, Your online life, permanent as a tattoo. While watching the film, students will gather quotes/evidence from the film that either challenges or reinforces their argument.  Typically, students struggle taking notes from a film or speaker, so I will pause the film periodically to give students an opportunity to take notes that evaluate the speaker's point of view and evidence (SL.9-10.3).  Using this short film is a great way for students to practice these skills.  


After the film, I will ask students to write  a thesis statement following this format:

Claim, reason 1, reason 2, reason 3.

I will share with them an example:

Oranges are a superior fruit to apples because they have a higher nutritional value, better texture and are easier to grow.  

I will give students five minutes to form their quick thesis statement.  I give students the basic thesis template to help them form their initial thoughts.  Over the next couple of weeks, we will expand on this template and add evidence to support reasons.  

Student Work Time--Form your thoughts into a thesis

15 minutes

Based on the students' answers to their warm up prompts, they split into two groups.

Group one:  Students who believe that school/job does not have a right to use social media as evidence of your worth.    

Group two:  Students who believe social media is fair game for schools/jobs to use as evidence of your worth.  

Once students are in groups, I  ask them to share their quick thesis statement with their group members.  They have five minutes to write a group thesis statement following the quick template. I ask them to write their new thesis in groups because I want students to revise the one they wrote into a greater statement.  In groups students will evaluate which thesis statements are best and combine ideas to write a great collaborative thesis statement.  

This video, student group forms thesis statment, shows a group working on their reasons for the template.  While I'm not asking students to include evidence to support their reasons yet, I am asking them to support their claim using valid reasoning (W.9-10.1).  


10 minutes

Once each group has a thesis statement written, we write these on the white board and discuss which thesis statement has the most valid reasons.  This will be the second revised thesis statement they will write today. After revising twice, students will be ready to write a thesis statement on their own in the next lesson.