Fact or Fiction
Because “fake news” is becoming common, you must ensure your source materials are credible. Fake news is not based on facts but is presented as if it is. Credible sources contain facts based on historical evidence and scientific research. Some sources contain myths, misconceptions, or inaccurate details. A person may see record-breaking snowfalls and claim they are proof Earth’s climate is not actually warming. However, increases in global temperatures have been recorded worldwide.
Some source materials have clear bias: They have a strong prejudice for or against something. The bias may result from personal opinion instead of facts, or because the creator wants to encourage you to buy their product. As a result, the materials may not be a reliable source of information.
Like the other books in the “Get Informed – Stay Informed” series, Climate Change hits all the right buttons. It is written at the right level, with relevant, up-to-date information on an issue that needs to be discussed by today’s students, to prepare them to be tomorrow’s decision-makers.
Getting informed and staying informed is vital when it comes to issues such as climate change. The time to act is now. The longer people wait to take action on climate change, the worse it will get and the harder it will be to reduce the impact.
The value of the books in this series is two-fold. First, there is a comprehensive overview of the importance of the issue with some background and context clearly presented. Second, the books explain the importance of becoming astute gatherers and users of information, and then go on to teach students some important information literacy skills.
Keeping it Real
With any topic you are researching, if a story sounds unrealistic or you are unsure about the source, be sure to fact check the details. Internet websites such as FactCheck.org’s SciCheck shine a spotlight on false information.
Each book in the series stresses the need to stay informed as issues continue to develop and encourages and empowers students to make their own decisions and ask their own questions. Climate Change includes a number of different perspectives on this global issue, including opinions that have changed over time. For example,
At the Paris climate conference in December 2015, 195 countries agreed to a global action plan to reduce climate change. On June 2, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States was pulling out of the agreement.
An excellent inclusion to the “Find Out More” section at the back of the book are reminder points to help students critically evaluate the information that they find on the Internet. For example, “Is the site well known and up to date? A page that has not been updated for several years probably has out-of-date information.” The “Find Out More” section also includes websites, books, and documentaries.
To summarize, buy Climate Change if you need a book that informs on the importance of the issue and helps to equip your students with the vital information literacy skills needed to make their own knowledgeable contributions to the solution.
Suzanne Pierson, a former teacher-librarian, is currently instructing Library courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.