Teaching Strategies

Trash and Treasure

  1. Put the students into small groups.
  2. Collect a number of newspaper articles on a topic and give copies of the articles to each group of students.
  3. Ask a question and tell the students to sort the articles into two groups according to whether they are relevant to the question (treasure) or not (trash).
  4. The students can then rank the articles from the most to the least useful, and justify their rankings.
  5. Ask another question and let your students reconsider their selections, to show how the relevance of the information depends on the question.

You can also use "trash or treasure" with the internet, by giving your students a selection of URLs, some of which are relevant and some of which are not. The students work collaboratively on this activity.

Further Suggestions to Assist Students to Evaluate Relevance of Articles

Once students have learned the trash and treasure technique, they need to be encouraged to use this technique when evaluating the information they have gathered.

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