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Lesson Plan

And the Question Is... Evaluating the Validity of a Survey

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Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Patricia Alejandra Lastiri

Patricia Alejandra Lastiri

Villanova d'Asti, Asti


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



Surveys are an important tool when doing research and learning to evaluate information. In this lesson, students consider the purpose and meaning of surveys, learn what types of questions are asked, evaluate the validity of a specific survey, and write in their journals to reflect on what they have learned.

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Hobbs, R., & Frost, R. (2003). Measuring the acquisition of media literacy skills. Reading Research Quarterly, 38, 330355.

A study of eleventh-grade students showed instruction in critical media analysis improved students' abilities to identify main ideas in print, audio, and visual media messages as well as information omitted from a news broadcast. Participants were also more likely to identify a message's intended audience, construction techniques, point of view, and intended purpose than those students who did not receive the instruction.

Bradburn, N.M., & Sudman, S. (1988). Polls and surveys: Understanding what they tell us. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

  • Researchers should recognize proper and improper uses of surveys.

  • Critical thinkers understand how the wording of questions can affect responses.

  • Readers should analyze what the answers mean in survey results.

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