Critical Thinking and the Media: Talking Back to Your Television

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Critical Thinking and the Media: Talking Back to Your Television


THURSDAYS at 11:00 A.M. (ends at noon)

This class will explore the various techniques used when people are trying to convince you to do something: to buy something, vote for someone, or think a particular way.  We will analyze and identify techniques used in the commercials, packaging, political debate, etc., that bombard us all day every day.  At the end of class, students will be invited to present a commercial of their own, using what we've learned in class.

What students will get out of the class

  • Students will learn to recognize when someone is making an argument (i.e., trying to convince them of something)
  • Students will learn many of the specific techniques used when making an argument
  • Students will practice thinking critically about information presented to them, so that they can make up their own minds instead of being unconsciously swayed by the media

What students should be prepared to put into the class

  • Students will be asked to keep a journal of various 'arguments' and propaganda techniques they run across in their daily lives, and should be prepared to share some of these with the class on a weekly basis
  • Students should be prepared to participate in class discussion (while being aware of the difference between a respectful argument and a fight)
  • Students will be invited (either individually or as part of a team) to create their own end-of-class commercial using the argument techniques we've discussed in class
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Required Materials:

  • online access is required for videos, short reading assignments, etc.
  • other materials will be provided by the instructor


About the teacher: Suzanne Rezelman was a software engineer for several years before making the switch to full-time homeschooling mom.  As a mother of four (the eldest of whom is following in mom's footsteps by attending Georgia Tech to study computer science this fall), she's spent over 15 years as a homeschool teacher, and has been able to indulge her love of literature, history, and all things nerdy along the way.  Please feel free to contact her at with any questions about the class.