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Information Literacy Toolkit

Lesson plans and conversation prompts for learning about the ARCL Framework

Definitions Lesson Plan

The Basics

Time: 10-15 mins
Topics: discuss how to find research on broader or related concepts; definitions and co-options of words, showing how language is fluid; authority is contextual
Learning styles:  visual (class presentation), aural (lecture), social (q&a)
ACRL Mapping: Learners “define different types of authority, such as subject expertise (e.g., scholarship), societal position (e.g., public office or title), or special experience (e.g., participating in a historic event); recognize that authoritative content may be packaged formally or informally and may include sources of all media types” “Authority is Constructed and Contextual” ; The dynamic nature of information creation and dissemination requires ongoing attention to understand evolving creation processes. “Information Creation as a Process”
Resources: whiteboard, handouts of article or link to article (computer lab or BYOD)


To Start


Have you ever seen this image before? What does "woke" mean? What is the context for this photo?

Even our kids stay woke! #womensmarch 📸: @travon

A post shared by Women's March (@womensmarch) on

Evolving Language

Read this article about the history and development of the word “woke."

How 'Woke' Went from Black Activist Watchword to Teen Internet Slang

Comprehension Questions:

  • What is this article about?

  • How has the meaning of the word “woke” changed over time?

  • What does it currently mean?

Discussion Questions

  • Do you agree with the author's assessment that "woke" has changed its meaning as it’s been co-opted by white, mainstream culture?

  • Can you think of any other examples where where words have changed their meaning? How about examples where words have been co-opted?

  • Do you think it would be easy to find scholarly work on the term “woke”?

  • Why is understanding the history of words like “woke” important?

Concept Map

brainstorming image


Imagine that you have to do an assignment on the concept of “being woke” based on its most recent definition, but you are finding it difficult to find sources. What are some of the main themes or topics that you could research that are related?


Start a concept map with the term woke in the middle. Think of synonyms, related concepts, relevant authorities (eg. an important author or expert), discipline-specific terms, and so on. Add these terms in a circle around your central idea.

These might be useful as keywords when beginning research. Finding related terms, and being able to determine where research is available, is a research skill that you will use on a regular basis. 


What makes it difficult to search for a recent and evolving term like woke?