Activity Introduction

This lesson is designed to be completed independently by students, however, for the final parts they will benefit from having a peer, classmate, teacher or other trusted adult to talk with.

In this lesson students will learn more about effective reasoning. They will read an article focusing on ineffective reasoning during the pandemic and will be supported to understand key vocabulary used to describe reasoning and reasoning flaws. They will reflect upon their own thinking, and others’, about COVID-19 and how it may have changed over time. Using their own experiences as a springboard, students will consider ways they can respond when faced with poor reasoning. Finally, students will write a rebuttal to a flawed conclusion/piece of reasoning to share with their peers.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 9 English

  • Use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse texts, comparing and evaluating representations of an event, issue, situation or character in different texts (ACELY1744)
  • Create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that present a point of view and advance or illustrate arguments, including texts that integrate visual, print and/or audio features (ACELY1746)

Year 10 English

  • Identify and analyse implicit or explicit values, beliefs and assumptions in texts and how these are influenced by purposes and likely audiences (ACELY1752)

General capabilities: Literacy, Ethical Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Background information

We are living through unprecedented times and our lives have been forced to change almost overnight as a result of COVID-19. For many of us, the pandemic and its repercussions were unimaginable before they happened. As we come to terms with them, we need to be aware of our thought processes and apply effective reasoning.

Tips for Parents and Carers

Students can feel a range of emotional responses when researching and discussing COVID-19. If you need further support for students please refer to:

Resources Required

[email protected] from Cool Australia

[email protected] resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our [email protected] series includes two types of resources. The first are fun and challenging real world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in a remote or school settings.

This lesson has been developed in partnership with The Conversation. The Conversation’s mission is to be known as a prominent and trusted publisher of new thinking and evidence-based research, editorially independent and free of commercial or political bias. The Conversation hopes teachers will use their content as a source of truthful information, and that teachers can show their students the importance of trusted, evidence-based information in understanding the world around them and making informed decisions about their actions. Please follow the republishing guidelines when using The Conversation’s articles.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Student Worksheet

The Deadly Sins of Thought - Activity Instructions

Learning intentions:

  • You will learn to identify flawed reasoning in thinking
  • You will learn to describe reasoning using specific vocabulary
  • You will apply ideas about flawed thinking to your own experiences
  • You will learn to discuss thinking constructively with others.

Success criteria:

  • You can comprehend reasons for, and consequences of, flawed thinking
  • You can identify examples of flawed thinking in others and yourself
  • You can employ strategies to change your mind and improve your thinking
  • You can employ strategies and write persuasively to change others’ minds.


How not to fall for coronavirus BS: avoid the 7 deadly sins of thought

Luke Zaphir, The University of Queensland

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing a great deal of anxiety, we might come to think people are irrational, selfish or downright crazy. We see people showing up to public venues en masse or clearing su

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