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Project Look Sharp


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Chemistry, Biology, Economics, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Videos, 1 minute, 31 seconds
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Videos, 3 minutes, 52 seconds
  • Videos, 1 minute, 37 seconds

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PDF, Downloadable MP4/M4V

GMOs: Bias and Credibility in Media Messages

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  • In this lesson, students learn about persuasive writing, bias, and credibility by analyzing three videos about GMOs by a corporation, a non-profit organization, and an academic group.
  • Students practice their media decoding skills and are taught how media can be used to influence public opinion.
Teaching Tips


  • This is an excellent exercise to introduce students to how media is used to sway public opinion, an issue especially relevant to the climate crisis.
  • Teachers can use this lesson to introduce the concept of greenwashing.
  • The lesson plan includes a list of objectives, a preparation and materials guide, activity procedures, additional resources, discussion questions, and an answer key.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers will need to register for a free account to access the materials.
  • The activity should take 30-60 minutes to complete.
  • Both the documents and videos must be downloaded.
  •  The "How to Use These Materials" document is a more in-depth guide for teachers.


  • This lesson can also be used in science and health classes during lessons about the effects of the chemicals used in or on GMOs on human health or the environment.
  • History classes could connect this to lessons about the impacts of the green revolution on society.
  • For science students, have them research a scientific paper about some aspect of GMOs or look at research related to the health effects of the insecticides and herbicides used within or on GMOs.
  • As an extension, have students bring to class an example of biases in media related to climate change and the environment.
Scientist Notes
This resource from Project Look Sharp at Ithaca College tasks students with analyzing three short films about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from three very different sources. They include an activity plan, which provides a great deal of direction for teaching students to analyze media messages (featuring an extensive list of questions and possible answers to foster classroom discussion). The three short videos come from industry, advocacy, and educational sources and each video provides a very different take on GMOs. This activity forces students to think about how to determine the credibility of a media source and includes thorough direction for educators. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.13.9-12 Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.9-12 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: History/Social Studies (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.6 Evaluate authors' differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors' claims, reasoning, and evidence.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
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