Lesson 14

Valid Vs. Faulty Generalizations

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SWBAT identify valid and faulty generalizations.

Big Idea

Does everyone speak the truth when they express a viewpoint? Sometimes generalizations are made, and it's up to us to figure out which are valid and which are faulty.


5 minutes

I'm going to show you a picture and I want you to tell me what you think about it? Do you agree? Disagree? What words stand out to you the most? 

Hopefully the kids will see that this ad says Cheerios are America's favorite brand. This is a generalization and it's faulty. We can't prove that and some people wouldn't agree with that statement. 

This is just to get the kids thinking about the fact that generalizations are everywhere and gets them thinking that not all generalizations are true. 

Today we're going to look at generalizations and decide if they are valid or faulty. Generalizations are used a lot in advertisements to trick people into buying the product. When we look at this picture, the company wants us to say, "Well if it's America's favorite and I'm and American, then I should have that cereal." When we can recognize faulty generalizations we can make smarter choices. 


10 minutes

I'm going to pick up with the valid or faulty slides from the power point that I used yesterday. Again, there are quite a few free options out there or you may have some great resources for this already. 

It's important to spot faulty generalizations so that you can make good decisions when reading. Valid generalizations are supported by facts. When the author uses a valid generalization, they'll support it with logic and reasoning and will provide several examples. "All birds have wings" is a valid generalization because we can prove that. I notice that word "all." This time that word works here because all birds do have wings. What about "some birds have wings?" Is this valid or faulty?"

I want to give them a few scenarios like this to help them to start using those key words and details to determine the validity. I want to model as much as I need to and then slowly hand off the responsibility to see what they can do on their own. 

Guided Practice

10 minutes

To get some practice, the kids will work on this activity. It's a little silly, but it works. The kids just need to read the statements and then place them in the bubbles according to faulty or valid. Just some quick practice before we move on to something more difficult. 

Let's try a few of these out together. Take a look at number one. "The class never gets in trouble for talking too much." Haha! We KNOW that's no the case for THIS classroom! A clue word stood out to me there. What was it? Never is a strong indicator that we may have a faulty generalization here. What do you think? 

After this point, I may do one more with them and then call some kids up to be the teacher. Then I can let them work in groups for a few minutes to finish up. The next part of the activity is a little more difficult. 

 Next we're going to practice reading some paragraphs and then using a graphic organizer to create valid generalizations. We're going to use all of our skills from the past two lessons to do this. I will work with you for one, and then let you get into groups for the rest. You will have one coming up that will count as my quick check so I can see how you're doing, so be sure to pay attention to the lesson. 

Independent Practice

20 minutes

 I want you to try out one on your own now. You'll read the paragraph and then create a valid generalization based on the details in the text. If it's a valid generalization, you'll have 3 good support sentences to include. 

I already know I'm going to have some kids who struggle here. I'm going to check in with them (there are about 7 that I think will struggle the most) and see how they're doing. I really want to see what they can do on their own, and then I'll create my groups for tomorrow based on this information. 


5 minutes

This is just something fun to bring closure to the lesson for today. I'll also get a quick idea of how the kiddos do at making generalizations. This is a difficult task for them, even though the do it every day. I'll be looking for things like- All icebergs are cold. Most doctors are helpful. All orangutans are furry. Any misconceptions will be helpful to see and I can use these tomorrow to activate the lesson.