February 25th, 2020Posted By Naomi Weeks

Myth-busting Toolkit

Have you got what it takes to sort fact from fiction? Why not test your critical literacy skills and bust some myths together?




So, you've chosen to take on the mission of myth-busting! 

Welcome to the team. We have a few tips for you to achieve your mission - here are the key steps to follow: 

1) Look
2) Read
3) Listen
4) Check Facts
5) Ask Questions
6) Think for Yourself!

Here is an example of the process you could use when reading a popular myth/ news story, in our case the famous myth of the Loch Ness Monster...


Wilson/Keystone/Getty Images
Wilson/Keystone/Getty Images. Known as the 'Surgeon's photograph', this picture was later revealed to be a hoax!

1) Look 

This is the first thing you'll do when you start your research. Look for sources to use and gather them all up. Here are some we found for our Loch Ness Monster research: 

*TIP* You want to get sources from lots of different places, people and times. Because the first sighting of Nessie was a long time ago, try and find some sources from that time as well. Use books as well as websites, and try and avoid Wikipedia if you can! 

BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-49495145
Live Science: https://www.livescience.com/26341-loch-ness-monster.html
The Loch Ness Monster, by Martin Delrio: https://archive.org/details/lochnessmonster0000delr/page/48
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3096839.stm
Nessie.co.ukhttp://www.nessie.co.uk/
Snopes (a great site for fact checking!): https://www.snopes.com/


2) Read

Read! Read broadly, and a lot. Read all your sources carefully. Don't forget to read both sides of the story and keep your mind open! 

Is this what the Loch Ness monster looks like?



3) Listen (or watch!)

Watch videos or listen to sound clips in order to broaden your research. This can be a great way of seeing evidence for yourself!

First ever recording (1930's) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZO0--ir6LI
Tim Dinsdale's film (1960's): https://www.themanwhofilmednessie.com/tims-nessie-film.html
Gordon Holmes' film (2007): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtPlz14qFOA



4) Check Facts

You've done your reading, listening and watching, and should have a good idea of the events that took place. Now it's time to fact check- how much of the evidence you've seen can be verified? Did the sources you read agree on everything, or did some of them say something different?

*TIP* A good rule of thumb when checking facts is to verify stories with two other credible sources. The more sources that are saying the same thing, the more likely that a story is true. 


Here's a snapshot of some Nessie research from Real-Life Mysteries, our myth-busting bible. You could try making a corkboard with photos, evidence and mind maps like this one! 


5) Ask Questions

Does something in your research not quite add up? Never be afraid to ask! Search the web to see if someone else has had the same question before you. You might find answers right away, or you might need to do some more digging. Asking questions is how we learn - never be afraid to challenge an idea! Remember - QUESTION EVERYTHING! 



6) Think for Yourself!

Don't believe everything that you read. Make your own mind up! Was Nessie real, or just a hoax? What do you think of the evidence? What do you believe or not believe? 


Congratulations!


Want to investigate more? Check out these two myth-busting, fact-checking bibles. 


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Tags: activity, non-fiction, classroom ideas, Critical Literacy
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