The library draws on an unlimited number of quality sources to contribute to and enhance classroom lessons and activities. Among the many resources provided to teachers and students is one related to media.
The verification and evaluation information resources, give students experience with an evaluation process that goes beyond feelings and generalizations about the news they are ingesting. With social media on the rise, the proliferation of cable and online entities that promote themselves as news sources it’s critical that students develop a skill set, tools and a sense of confidence in the area of information consumption. Today, conspiracies run rampant, homegrown falsehoods go unchallenged and there is a general distrust of the media. A place to start is to focus on concepts and idea related to bias in the news.
There is a lot to understand and gain experience with so we begin with the idea that we need to identify our information zone before drawing conclusions about how factual and useful the information might be.
Lessons and Activities are designed for delivery at multiple levels of learning. Lesson outlines, content, examples, documents, websites and more are provided for flexibility.
The Associated Press Style Guide is used as an example of how journalists rely on consistent language and description when reporting the news. Journalists are trained to strive for original, insightful and complete news articles but sometimes fall short. Ideas about how narrowness can impact reporting, how unintentional bias and persuasion can creep in, how a reporter’s lack of familiarity with a topic can create issues help students so they move away from declaring loyalty to one media outlet or another and instead remain open, nimble and aware dealing with what they encounter.
Students are encouraged to ask questions, explore what they know and be open to discover what they don't know. Generalizations, knee jerk responses, avoidance or narrow interpretations usually don't help when it comes to information use.
Here is an example of a lesson outline called "Think Like a Reporter" created by professional at the News Literacy Project. The library has been following the work of this group for several years. Checkology lessons and content are many but take a look at its overview on BIAS Like all its materials, it is available to educators and the general public so feel free to register. It's free!
Other Primary Sources content is available in the resources section of our webpage. Login and take a look. If you have any questions, contact the library director at email@example.com
Stimulating our thoughts on a subject, sometimes we call it a deep dive, is routine for students who are practicing the rigor of critical thinking. It is particularly important when learning about topics that some may consider to be controversial. Many of these challenging topics are in the area of social teachings and current events.
Let’s get started….
When considering current events, it’s interesting to consider the Primary Source (the words of the Pope) and both factual reporting and opinions of other publications. Topics like immigration and migrants, civil rights and racism, and climate change are in the news. Thinking more deeply about controversial topics challenges us to look, not only to the media and our own opinions, but also to other sources that may provide other ideas beyond what we already know.
Mix them up! Primary, Secondary and Tertiary sources help us to organize our approach to researching an idea.
For example, are you curious to see the Encyclicals of Pope Francis for yourself and how they might related to the issues of the day? There are many places to access some of these sources. Here we go first to the Vatican for a complete list with a full range of translations. and related documents..
Another path is to use the Catholic Charities website that provides links to the full text encyclicals of Pope Francis in English and Spanish with Notable Quotes posted for each. Click on this link or copy and paste it into a browser: https://www.cctwincities.org/education-advocacy/catholic-social-teaching/major-documents/documents-of-pope-francis/ -- Catholic Charities posts the full text encyclicals of Pope Francis in English and Spanish with Notable Quotes posted for each. Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis on March 13, 2013, when he was named the 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church and has written more than a few encyclicals.
Research is like the tide going in and out. To get started, zoom in on your topic by taking a look at two of the Pope's encyclicals, the most recent and the one from 2015.
FRATELLI TUTTI (2020 ENCYCLICAL ON FRATERNITY AND SOCIAL FRIENDSHIP) Official Text --- http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20201003_enciclica-fratelli-tutti.html -- ENCYCLICAL LETTER FRATELLI TUTTI OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON FRATERNITY AND SOCIAL FRIENDSHIP ---Pope’s third encyclical, focuses on social justice and devotes an entire chapter the current migration crisis.
LAUDATO SI’ (ENCYCLICAL LETTER 2015 OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME) -- http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html
Start gradually to zoom out on your topic by consulting secondary sources, that is, material produced after the fact, Secondary sources are usually one or two steps removed from primary sources and meant to add a layer of interpretation and analysis. For example, on the open web you’ll find things like news, case studies, statistical research and the like.
Take a look at the Pew Research Center and its article that takes, “A look at popes and their encyclicals.” https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/06/09/a-look-at-popes-and-their-encyclicals/ -- Pew Research Pope Encyclicals
https://cruxnow.com/church-in-uk-and-ireland/2020/10/popes-new-encyclical-targets-divisive-and-unpleasant-rhetoric-on-migration/ CRUX "Pope’s encyclical targets ‘divisive and unpleasant rhetoric’ on migration"
"Massachusetts bishops urge action on climate chan9e " 09/20/2019, by Jacqueline Tetrault https://www.thebostonpilot.com/article.asp?Source=Archives&ID=185880
An article in the Pilot titled Cardinal O'Malley speaks out on immigration crisis By Rhina Guidos Catholic News Servicei 9/13/2019 https://www.thebostonpilot.com/articleprint.asp?id=185827
A columnist, Robert Levy, writing on social justice in The Pilot newspaper, November 2019 https://www.thepilot.com/opinion/column-social-justice-is-a-matter-than-endangered-us-as-a-free-people/article_afc31b1a-12c2-11ea-b166-4773891bdca0.html
An opinion piece from the Catholic Virginian https://powerlinks.news/climate-change/news/amp/do-catholics-understand-meaning-of-social-justice --Do Catholics understand meaning of social justice? Sep 23, 2019
It’s best to add to a list of source materials items that have been vetted and included in subscription databases. For specific materials from a range of experts, isolate your search in a database called Religion and Philosophy found among the options in Fenwick’s Gale Suite of Databases. For a broader view, do a search in Fenwick’s SIRS Issues Researcher. Note: The citations below include persistent links but you may need to be logged into the school’s website to access the following articles:
Roewe, Brian. "Have we listened?: Five years ago, Pope Francis asked us to care for Earth." National Catholic Reporter, vol. 56, no. 18, 12 June 2020, p. 5+. Gale OneFile: Religion and Philosophy,
https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A631208515/PPRP?u=m.... Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.
Skylstad, William S. "Stewards of creation: a Catholic approach to climate change." America, vol. 200, no. 13, 20 Apr. 2009, p. 10+. Gale OneFile: Religion and Philosophy,
https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A198565788/PPRPu=m.... Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.
Shannon, Denise. "The Political Power of the Catholic Church: The Bishops Lobby." Humanist, Sept, 1993. SIRS Issues Researcher, https://explore.proquest.com/sirsissuesresearcher/document/2263186680?accountid=31896.
Morin, Monte, and Christina Boyle. "Pope's Call to Action on Climate." Los Angeles Times, 19 Jun 2015. SIRS Issues Researcher, https://explore.proquest.com/sirsissuesresearcher/document/2262545679?accountid=31896.
Zängle, Michael. “Trends in Papal Communication: A Content Analysis of Encyclicals, from Leo XIII to Pope Francis.” Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung, vol. 39, no. 4 (150), 2014, pp. 329–364. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/24145539 Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.
Ryan, John A. “The Catholic Church and Social Questions.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 165, 1933, pp. 48–56. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1018161 Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.
Don’t forget to consult sources that provide a good digest of information on your topic. These are often so obvious that they may be overlooked. Things like textbooks, encyclopedias and other reference sources have their value. These are sources that list, summarize or simply repackage ideas and are usually not credited to a particular author.
"Encyclical." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 20 Jul. 1998. school.eb.com/levels/high/article/encyclical/32598. Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.
"List of Articles." New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement 2009, Gale, 2009, pp. xv-xx. Gale eBooks, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/CX3005400010/GVRL?u=mlin_n_bishop&sid=GVRL&xid=4c6615a2. Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.
Here is a list of books for students looking for something a little scary in October. The Fenwick Book Club is reading Asylum by Madeleine Roux . If you get the chance, drop by the club's meeting on November 17th. Students will be discussing Asylum and trying their hands at writing their own 2-sentence horror stories.
Here is a list of books for students to choose from. Choice is critical in guiding young people to enjoy reading for pleasure. Hispanic Heritage Month was selected as a focal point for fall reading. Enjoy!
An article in the Harvard Business Review says again what many educators have known through history to be true. Christine Seifert, in her article titled The Case for Reading Fiction she says, " Some of the most valuable skills that managers look for in employees are often difficult to define, let alone evaluate or quantify: self-discipline, self-awareness, creative problem-solving, empathy, learning agility, adaptiveness, flexibility, positivity, rational judgment, generosity, and kindness, among others. How can you tell if your future employees have these skills? And if your current team is lacking them, how do you teach them? Recent research in neuroscience suggests that you might look to the library for solutions; reading literary fiction helps people develop empathy, theory of mind, and critical thinking. "
This series of videos give us a chance to appreciate just one of many of the quality resources the Archdiocese of Boston makes available to us. Take a look at one or all of these videos to better understand how information for academic purposes helps students not only know more but think better.
Information Literacy is one of those terms that usually leaves people cold. "What do you mean, literacy? I can read!" Of course we can read and write. Actually the World Factbook reports that the U.S. has a literacy rate of 99 percent. So, instead of calling the information handling skills we all need to communicate effectively in the 21st Century, here at Fenwick we call these skills, Critical Appraisal Skills.
It's usually better to show than tell. Here's a short series of brief videos that demonstrate, using the Corona Virus as an example. It's not that we haven't heard a lot on this topic but that we get an enormous flood of information and need to process it in ways that help us to think and analyze the situation for ourselves. Information Literacy, aka Critical Appraisal skills help us to do just that. Click here to see the series of videos designed and delivered by one of our database vendors.
Indigenous Peoples' Day ---- Many cities, municipalities, universities and educational institutions also now recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day or a similar holiday that recognizes the culture and history of Native peoples. To date, 14 states and the District of Columbia now observe Native American or Indigenous Peoples’ Day, in place of or in addition to Columbus Day. The library is a place where people come to find out more about why and how changes like this come about. Librarians help students and faculty to navigate the mass of information, and misinformation, to ensure we're moving forward with clarity and facts.
When confronted by the idea of where do I start,? the library is a good place to begin the journey of discovery. This page, created by Debbie Reese and Jean Mendoza, demonstrates the range of materials and sources available on a given topic.
In addition to this type of bibliographical file, the Fenwick Library has books, old and new, print and digital for students and teachers who want to take a deeper dive on the topic. For example, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, a long-time American activist, writer, and historian .attracted a lot of attention with the release of her book, An Indigenous People's' History of the United States in 2014. By 2019, Mendoza & Reese released an edition of the same but adapted For Young People. The Fenwick has both, available for the asking.
THE FENWICK LIBRARY IS MORE THAN BOOKS!
- Reading on Your Own
- Quiz--If you were a book...
- Why Read?
- Fenwick Library News & InfoBites
- Fenwick Book Club
Welcome readers & soon to be readers!
So, you like to read or you've decided it's time to make reading fun so it's easier to get your homework done.
It's great to have the input of experienced readers but the fact is that your time with a book is yours, no one else's. What we read and when we choose to read it, are deeply personal moments that contribute to making us who we are.
Here are a few things that can help you select the next book to read:
- Teen Book Finder APP.-- It's FREE! There's an app for everything and that includes one created by YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Organization) Remember, it's only a tool. Like any of these things, we don't follow it blindly but it may get you thinking and looking in new directions. Here's a link to the YALSA Teen Book Finding App that explains how it works. Use the QR code to get the app or just follow the directions to download it to your iPod Touch, iPhone or Android phone.
- The What Should I Read Next tool can be fun. There's more to the site than just recommending books but start by entering a book you like and the site will use its database of readers' favorite books to provide book recommendations and suggestions for what to read next.
- Go where the Fenwick Book Club goes! Teen Reads is a website designed for teens who love to read. The Book Report Network has thoughtful book reviews, compelling features, in-depth author profiles and interviews, excerpts of the hottest new releases, contests and more every week.
- Create a free account on Good Reads Sign up to receive recommendations based on your favorite genre (s) , track your reading and share your lists of favorites with friends. Sometimes what you've read in the past is not a good indicator of what you'll read in the future. Linking with other readers who have similar and sometimes dissimilar tastes can open new worlds.
Just looking for a quick suggestion for something to read now?
Take a look at The Best of the Best published and updated regularly by YALSA. This list includes the best new literature for teens, including award winners, audiobooks, fiction, non-fiction and graphic novels.
- This might be ambitious for some but a good place to keep your eye on is the National Association of Scholars. Here are 130 books the NAS recommends for colleges and universities with common reading programs. The first list contains 95 books appropriate in level of difficulty and length for any college freshman. The second list contains 35 more ambitious choices. Do you ever wonder how books make the lists they're on? Take a look at the criteria used by NAS and make up your own list for how and why you choose a book.
- It's not like we don't know where we're going. Take a look at what college kids are reading at 21 Books on College Reading Lists Across the US. Don''t stop here. Where are you thinking about going to college? Check out their website to see what they're reading.
Miscellaneous links for Book Lovers...
- The College Board Recommended Reading List for College-Bound Students is always a good thing to keep in front of you. Here's a checklist of titles prepared and made available by Lake Holcolme School District in Wisconsin.
- Banned and Challenged Books --Each year, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom records hundreds of attempts by individuals and groups to have books removed from libraries shelves and from classrooms.
- Great Graphic Novels for Teens 2018 Not everyone is a fan of comics, graphic novels and manga but here's a place to start if you're interested. There's a large audience among teens so you might be surprised at what you find.
- You'll probably like this website for many different reasons. for now, a reason to check it out is to look over its list of FREE audio books Open Culture is a collection of digital, electronic books, music and films with a recommended reading list for high school students.
- Take a look at the 100 Books on the Great American Read List These books were chosen through a survey of Americans conducted by PBS and represent the favorite books of viewers from across the country. This list of fiction titles consists of beloved world literature to contemporary bestsellers, the list contains a broad range of novels, authors, time periods, countries, genres and subject matter.
Reading is best when shared with others. Don't discount the importance of the reading skills you learn in the classroom, with a parent, and with a librarian. Studies show that reading is a learned ability with measurable skill development in the areas of decoding, comprehension and knowledge building.
After all this, you might be looking for recommendations from people instead of from machines? Here are a few ideas:
- Stop by the Fenwick Library. Ms. Smith & Mr. Czarnecki
- What's your favorite subject? Check in with your teacher. They always have ideas because they love the subject too.
- Become a regular at your city or town Public Library.
- Don't miss the obvious! Check in with your friends to hear what they're reading. You'll be surprised to find how many people are reading once you start showing an interest in books.
Make reading part of your summer. Here's why...
- Cultivating good reading habits puts us in charge of our own learning. Besides, with practice, reading becomes relaxing and fun. Imagine looking forward to the reading part of your assignments.
- Research shows that we are not born to read. Decoding test is a learned skill. New technologies are pervasive, and lean heavily on the side of visuals instead of text. Reading habits must be deliberately formed to optimize the higher functioning of the human brain.
- Have you heard about the "Summer Slide?" Learning or reading skill losses during the summer months are cumulative, creating a wider gap each year between more proficient and less proficient students. (scholastic.com
- There is a difference between reading fiction for pleasure and reading for information, i.e. textbooks, manuals and scanning text for specific purposes. Reading for information makes efficient readers but unless we're also reading for pleasure we're missing the benefits derived from exercising imagination, fantasy and creativity.. Reading fiction across the genres develops abilities like empathy, compassion, critical thinking and problem solving skills.. As in most things, a healthy balance of fiction and non-fiction reading is usually a good idea.
The Summer Reading Program at Fenwick (details below) includes both a Community One Read and a list of books from the English Department. Questions a comments during summer months may be sent to Diane Smith @ the O'Rourke Library using email firstname.lastname@example.org
Diversity and Inclusion resourcesLibrary Holdings in the subject area of diversity are in high demand these days. The attention that the Anti-Racist initiatives along with people finding time to expand their reading time are certainly among the reasons.
The following list CLICK HERE is far from a complete list but we've grouped some titles together from the collection on hand. The list is in alphabetical order by author and the titles are annotated. The brief descriptions are meant to help readers wade through the choices while getting a sense of the range of topics found in this part of our collection.
Don't miss what's going on in the O'Rourke Library and Information Center as we look forward to Spring.
There's more news in the boxes below. For example, looking for something to read? Check out the "Read on Your Own " page of the O'Rourke Library web page. https://www.fenwick.org/academics/library
On the list of tools to help you find a book to read, fiction or non-fiction, digital, print, or audio, you'll find…
- Teen Finding Book app
- if you liked…then you'll like database
- Book Lovers website
- goodreads account set-up page
- Recommendations from the Nat'l Scholars Assoc.
- a College Bound reading list
…and so much more! Pick one and have some fun. A new book, if you pick the right one for you, is a new friend.
And speaking of making new friends, think about making time for the Fenwick Book Club. It meets one day a month.
The Fenwick Book Club usually focuses on one book per month although members often read a lot more on their own. We meet to talk about the ideas and characters we meet among the pages. For example, not everyone liked , "perks of a wall flower" by stephen chbosky but others loved it. The discussion takes off on its own, some having just found the book, others coming back to re-read and others comparing it to the movie.
Titles from things the members are reading in the classroom slip into the conversation along with what they'll be reading over the vacation. The library displays and bulletin boards are often used to stimulate possibilities. Read more about it by expanding the Fenwick Book Club box below this section.
In other news from the library...
Each year, the Fenwick library makes new resources available to teachers and students. Taking a few minutes to search through the databases to remain current with the content, tools and other features that continue to evolve from year to year is not as easy as it sounds.
One of the acknowledged features of information in this second decade of the 21st century is its exponential growth. A shortage of time and an excess of demands, anticipated and otherwise, makes it difficult to keep track of it all. The trick that helps us avoid becoming overwhelmed? Try chunking things into smaller bites, reviewing and taking in a little at a time.
The Fenwick library works year round to keep existing resources vital to the work faculty does with our students. Periodically the library announces new and changing items worthy of your time and attention. To make sure these great resources don't go unnoticed and to optimize their use among teachers and students, the library will post a small bite a couple of times a month to encourage your interest and stimulate your curiosity.
Below are a series of info bites designed to keep you informed about library activities and resources. For example, Infobite #1 focuses on videos and how the library works to keep them current, relevant to the curriculum and available from on campus and outside of school.
New titles were added to our On Demand subscription over the past month.
View your newly added titles: Click here to view a full list of the new titles just added to your collection. WARNING...Only Fenwick students, faculty, staff and parents have access to our subscription databases. If you are among our active community members, send an email to Ms. Smith, Fenwick Library Director email@example.com for the login and pwd.
The backstory on our Classroom Video On Demand subscription database…
Using online content for academic purposes is different than when we're at home just playing around on the web for fun. Of course, as users of online content we need to be questioning and evaluating what we're looking at all the time. In the classroom, however, it becomes even more important because we will be using content in an arena where scholarship, judgment and integrity represent us in serious ways.
YouTube is a popular and visual representations of content can really enhance our academic work. That being said, students need to learn how to evaluate a content rich video from a reliable and credible source, cite correctly using a standardized format, take excerpts and select appropriate quotes. One way Fenwick provides exposure to quality videos and guides students in the use of transcripts and the evaluation process is to include vetted content in classroom and research options. Video On Demand is a subscription service available to Fenwick students after they login to the library portion of the school's website. Classroom Video On Demand is a streaming video website, dedicated to delivering high school video subject matter related to the curriculum, with material appropriate for basic through AP courses.
The next meetings of the Fenwick Book Club is January 20, 2021 immediately after school. Consider stopping by or using the Zoom link posted in the Book Club Group section of the Fenwick App.
Click here for the flier for the first meeting of the academic year 20-21 and click here for the schedule. Click here for the flier for the second meeting of the academic year 20-21. Click here for the flier for the first meeting of the new year 2021 and here for the information sheet that starts the discussion.
The Fenwick Book Club meets for their regular monthly meetings when the academic year is in session. Refreshments usually include brownies and water and, of course an array of seasonal treats. During Covid Times, we usually have to-go snacks and water.
The new Young Adult Reader's App and the other links on the Fenwick Library web page are often part of the discussion. The Library section of the Fenwick website called "Reading on your Own" (above on this page) and favorite links reassure the group that there's nothing to worry about in terms of finding something to read.
An example, of a Fenwick Book Club read is " the perks of being a wall flower" by stephen chbosky Here's a short look at the themes of the book. It's one of those titles the book club returns to because members want to talk about the ideas the book investigates.
About the book....
Members share their ideas about this book, new to some members but a re-read for others. It's one of our "Read the Book, Watch the Movie" series.
Take a look at the trailer for the movie.
The discussion sometimes moves to books students are reading in the classroom and books they know will be part of the current quarter or the next..
Members also considered the library displays and bulletin boards that are used to stimulate possibilities. For example, if it's Valentine's Day, a display might include a focus on chocolate or a display titled, Reading is Good for the Heart with its own collection of titles ranging from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber..
The library bulletin boards introduced a range of titles that otherwise might not have come up in conversation. Talk about the reasons for reading took over the discussion. Some are born readers, others try to cultivate the habit so homework reading will be easier and the list of reasons grew from there. Some members read for fun, understanding of the world, we're reading because it helps in the classroom and we're reading because it helps stretch our imaginations and creativity.
The boards in the hallway outside the library often feature timely topics or important people. The boards may generate a converstation about a notable figure like Martin Luther King or turn to interests related to current events.
Other display boards are designed to be in place longer. These are meant to promote reading as part of preparing to go to college. There's a list of titles from the Great American Read Program on PBS that overlaps but isn't limited to young adult titles. Particularly popular is the list put out by the College Board for college bound students. Students are eager to see the titles they'll have in common with their future friends.
The group stays connected between meetings by running into each other in the halls and outside of school using the Fenwick Book Club Group app on their phones to connect with each other. The group feature of the app makes communication easier, facilitates regular reminders about upcoming meetings, allows for circulating titles of books being read and other points of connection between members outside of the regular meeting times.
. New members are always welcome.