• Instructional Design

  • THINKING PRO uses local news and local issues as a tool to develop and practice reading comprehension, critical thinking, and communication skills in a student-centric, teacher supported learning environment.

     

    THINKING PRO is an online instructional program for high school students designed to improve students’ reading comprehension, critical thinking skills, news media literacy, and civic engagement. A series of interactive and self-paced instructional videos model reading and critical thinking strategies for students, offer opportunities for practice, and provide immediate feedback. Written assignments further reinforce these strategies by allowing students to apply reliable processes for evaluating the trustworthiness of news and informational texts. Students learn to be more mindful consumers of the news by considering the relevance and emotional impact of local events.

  • Throughout the program, students are encouraged to find their place and voice in their community. 

     

    They engage with discussion prompts and identify a cause that is meaningful to them, their vision for the future, their mission for accomplishing their goals, and their personal brand. These components become the foundation of the Capstone Project. In a Capstone Project, students find and analyze 3-4 news articles related to their cause and use these sources to raise awareness through a format of their choice (e.g., letter to a politician, bumper sticker campaign, soapbox speech).

  • Instructional Design Features

    • Lessons begin with a media mindfulness activity and group discussions of local news, issues, and people, in which students think about their role in the community.
    • Instructional content provides students with knowledge of news media literacy, reading and critical thinking strategies, and local citizenship.
    • Interactive explainer videos model reading and critical thinking strategies for students and provide opportunities for guided practice.
    • Reading and writing assignments based on local news and websites allow students to practice the strategies from each lesson while learning about their local community.
    • In the Capstone Project, which runs throughout the program, students raise awareness of a cause of their choice by synthesizing information from articles and informational texts they have analyzed.                       

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