By Risa Gluskin
If there’s one thing I want my students to remember, it’s that they shouldn’t always believe what they see, hear, or read. This year I changed up my icebreaker again (see last year’s post on Teacher in a Box). After doing Teacher in a Box, I played a 5- minute audio clip from This is That. If you’re familiar with the satirical CBC radio program, you’ll get the connection right away. Most of my students didn’t know what they were listening to when they heard “Canadian lullaby writer has proudly put thousands to sleep with his music.”
There was some puzzlement during and after the clip. I gave my quizzical-looking grade 11s a little hint: This is That. This is its tag line: “This is That is an award-winning satirical current affairs show that doesn’t just talk about the issues, it fabricates them.”
Now every time I want my history students to be more cautious about their sources, I say, “lullaby”, or “This is That.” Some things are just unreal.
Risa Gluskin teaches world history and student success at York Mills CI in Toronto. She hasn’t tried this activity with her grade 9 students YET.