One goal in education is to allow students to seek the truth. It seems that the truth is getting stranger and stranger these days and everything is a conspiracy theory. We have all gotten the email strings saying that this big event was orchestrated by that evil group, etc… The thing is, we can foster creative thinking and logic by looking at the style of the conspiracy theory.
As a sample, you could show students the following conspiracy video. It is pretty amazing and shows how nearly ANY event can be made to look like something if portrayed in a certain way. This video shows a major event and conspiracy about a dad helping his son and daughter destroy a government installation. This is the “real story ” of the Death Star!
It is funny but will help students see just how easy it is to make a huge conspiracy out of very little. This teaches the value of fact checking and logic. As educators, we are fine if you think that Elvis is alive, just show us the facts that are documented that align with your theory. Using a video like the one above can demonstrate multiple styles of writing and handing an argumentative essay or project.
A video like this can be the start of students writing their own theory based on facts or even a movie or story like the author did here. A group discussion could take place or a deeper look at real conspiracy theories like “The Magic Bullet” and “Faked Moon Landings.”