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a close-up photo of a jumping spider

News Stories Give Spiders a Bum Rap

Are your students creeped out by spiders? They aren’t alone. In this guide, students will learn about how inaccurate news coverage has promoted common misconceptions about the largely harmless critters. Students can also discuss misinformation, thinking about where they’ve encountered it before, its impacts and ways to correct it.   

Spinning tales about spiders

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “News stories have caught spiders in a web of misinformation,” which describes new research looking at how spiders are portrayed by the media. A version of the article, “News stories give spiders a bum rap” appears in the September 24, 2022 issue of Science News.

The Age of Dinosaurs May Have Ended in Springtime

In this guide, students will answer claim, evidence and reasoning questions about how scientists used the bones of ancient fish to determine during what season an asteroid wiped out nonavian dinosaurs. They will then explore the physical properties of human bones and how bones offer evidence to support scientific claims.

Dating dino doomsday

Students will answer claim, evidence and reasoning questions about the online Science News article “The Age of Dinosaurs may have ended in springtime.” The article describes how scientists used fossilized fish to determine what season it was when an asteroid wiped out nonavian dinosaurs. A version of the article, “Dinosaur killer may have hit in spring,” appears in the March 26, 2022 issue of Science News.

Dig into bones

Students will discuss the physical properties of human bones and how bones can offer evidence to support scientific claims. Then students can search Science News for examples of how bones have been used as evidence.
an aerial view of a forest

Earth May Be Hiding Thousands of Tree Species

In this guide, students will learn about scientists’ efforts to estimate how many tree species Earth has, analyze a related data visualization and discuss the implications the research has for conservation.

Mapping biodiversity

Students will look at data from a primary research article to explore how tree biodiversity differs across continents and biomes.

Counting Earth’s tree species

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Earth may have 9,200 more tree species than previously thought,” which describes researchers’ efforts to estimate the number of tree species on Earth. A version of the article, “Earth may be hiding thousands of tree species,” appears in the March 12, 2022 issue of Science News
illustration of one human figure standing separate from a group of figures

Look to the Outliers

In this guide, students will learn about outliers and why some social scientists study them in an effort to improve people’s lives.

Defying expectations

Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Why do some people succeed when others fail? Outliers provide clues,” which describes how research into communities that defy expectations can reveal ways to help others.

All about outliers

Students will define what an outlier is and discuss why outliers occur, how to identify them and how they can be useful for science and society.
two humpback whales emerging from the ocean to feed

Whales Eat More Than We Thought

In this guide, students will learn how scientists estimated the food intake of certain whale species and discuss nutrient cycling and conservation of matter within ecosystems.