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Aliens, Zombies and Bigfoot? Using Paranormal Phenomena to Engage Students in Library Instruction

Use this guide for suggested information literacy activities


Looking for ways to spice up your one-shots?

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Sometimes it's all about the topic! What's more fun than paranormal phenomena?

How to use this guide

Aliens, Zombies and Bigfoot, Oh my!

Under each tab of this guide you will find a variety of fun bits of information and instructional activities you can use in library instruction.

Here's a summary of what you will find:

POLLING: this is a fun icebreaker! Start the class with a poll - ask students what they believe. Try using poll everywhere, libguides polling or clickers (remote response system). It is a great way to lead into evaluating sources. After students complete the poll, ask them why it is that some people believe, some don't and others are skeptics? It's all about the evidence - something you read, videos/tv programs you've seen or accounts/experiences of others that convinced you. Are the sources that determined your persuasion accurate and reliable? When it comes to research and choosing your information sources - be a skeptic!

WEB EVALUATION: there are tons of 'hoaxy' and fun websites on these topics and some pretty reliable, government sources as well. Have students use the CRAAP Test for this web evaluation activity. 

KEYWORDS: all of these topics are great for demonstrating how to create a search query. Have students brainstorm as a class or in groups for all the keywords you could use to search on these topics. Have students write keywords on the whiteboards or use Padlet.

INSTRUCTIONAL ACTIVITIES: each topic includes suggested activities supporting ACRL Framework. Activities include evaluating information sources, creating a search strategy using Boolean Logic, searching library databases, and finding print sources in the library through a scavenger hunt.

LOCAL SPIN: each topic has its own Arizona connection which is lots of fun to share with students and keep them engaged. You can use these 'local spins' for a number of activities. One suggested activity for this is 'verifying the evidence'. Have students work in groups to use a variety of sources (print, open web or library databases) to search for evidence that verifies if the claim is true or false.