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Why research truth and facts

Why research truth and facts

Step 1: 

Watch this 6-minute documentary, called “The Umbrella Man (Links to an external site.).” Pay careful attention to what conspiracy theory is being suggested and the outcome of the investigation. 

Step 2:

Answer these questions: 

  1. In the video, how does the “truth” about The Umbrella Man come to light? What was the truth and how does it compare to what people thought The Umbrella Man was doing? 
  2. What is Josiah Thompson’s (the man speaking in the documentary) argument about how we interpret facts? You may want to go back to the beginning of the documentary and compare what he says about historical events to what he says later about learning the truth about the man with the umbrella. What is his main point about the ability of the average person to interpret facts? 
  3. Read the Wikipedia page on The Umbrella Man (Links to an external site.). Does the Wikipedia page suggest that the umbrella could have been a symbol of protest, and not a weapon? (Note: read the whole page.) Why? 
  4. Now reflect:
    • What do you think this speculation about Kennedy’s assassination and the truth behind the Umbrella Man show about why we do research? Why do you think we do research?
    • What do you think the speculation about the Umbrella Man shows about the kinds of answers we are drawn to, as humans? Do you think that the “conspiracy theory” aspect of JFK’s assassination contributed to people’s willingness to spin wild theories about the Umbrella Man?
    • Think about what we have learned so far about information literacy.  How can being information literate help us to interpret facts and evaluate the accuracy of stories, reports, and research?

Link to 6 min video: Step 1: 

Watch this 6-minute documentary, called “The Umbrella Man (Links to an external site.).” Pay careful attention to what conspiracy theory is being suggested and the outcome of the investigation. 

Step 2:

Answer these questions: 

  1. In the video, how does the “truth” about The Umbrella Man come to light? What was the truth and how does it compare to what people thought The Umbrella Man was doing? 
  2. What is Josiah Thompson’s (the man speaking in the documentary) argument about how we interpret facts? You may want to go back to the beginning of the documentary and compare what he says about historical events to what he says later about learning the truth about the man with the umbrella. What is his main point about the ability of the average person to interpret facts? 
  3. Read the Wikipedia page on The Umbrella Man (Links to an external site.). Does the Wikipedia page suggest that the umbrella could have been a symbol of protest, and not a weapon? (Note: read the whole page.) Why? 
  4. Now reflect:
    • What do you think this speculation about Kennedy’s assassination and the truth behind the Umbrella Man show about why we do research? Why do you think we do research?
    • What do you think the speculation about the Umbrella Man shows about the kinds of answers we are drawn to, as humans? Do you think that the “conspiracy theory” aspect of JFK’s assassination contributed to people’s willingness to spin wild theories about the Umbrella Man?
    • Think about what we have learned so far about information literacy.  How can being information literate help us to interpret facts and evaluate the accuracy of stories, reports, and research?

Link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yznRGS9f-jI

Link to article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbrella_man_(JFK_assassination)


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