The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Halloween Lesson, Part 1: Randi’s “Secrets of the Psychics”

Posted by mattusmaximus on October 28, 2010

I want to share with you all a couple of Halloween-related lessons I give to my students every year.  That’s because this time of year is the perfect time to inject some explicit critical thinking & skepticism of all things spooky that go “bump” in the night.  I also tie it all in to scientific inquiry…

The first lesson I give my students is that I show them James Randi’s “Secrets of the Psychics” video from NOVA. Though it was released in 1993, it is still one of the most well-done videos on the topic, and it is the perfect length & tone for a high school or college class.  Below is a link to Youtube where you can access the entire episode (50-60 minutes long), and I would also like to share with you the notesheet that I have my students fill in as they’re watching the video – Secrets of the Psychics Notesheet

Over the next few days, I will share with you part 2 of my Halloween lesson.  I’m certain you’ll enjoy it, so stay tuned :)

Addendum: In addition, I share some good Halloween & skeptically-themed weblinks with my students on the course website.  They are the Snopes.com page on Halloween urban legends and the Skeptic’s Dictionary entry on Halloween – I highly recommend sharing these with your friends, family, and students.

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3 Responses to “Halloween Lesson, Part 1: Randi’s “Secrets of the Psychics””

  1. Dean Baird said

    Here’s my questions sheet to accompany the video. (My students might have a shorter attention span than yours.)

    NOVA: James Randi – Secrets of the Psychics

    I own a copy on VHS. It sure would be nice it this were available on DVD.

  2. Dean Baird said

    Almost forgot: here’s the answer key!

    NOVA: James Randi – Secrets of the Psychics answer key

  3. [...] you recall, last week I posted the first of two skeptical lessons with a Halloween theme to them, and now I share with you the second one: the Haunted Physics Lab. I cannot take credit for this [...]

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