From the Field – Critical Thinking Skills

Cartoon image of an octopus. Helping students build scaffolds to think critically about Web information can start early.

Fourth grade teacher Kevin found this out when teaching his students about the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus website.

Kevin asked his students to discuss the authenticity of the site and whether or not they believed the tree octopus was a real creature. Many were skeptical, but the majority of his students believed the site was authentic.

To try and validate the information, his students tried to Google the tree octopus, but there was no concrete evidence to support whether or not the site was fact or fiction.

At the time, Kevin was not exactly sure how to provide tangible proof that the site was a spoof.


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