Are you in on the joke? You are now.

Based on the suggestion of a teacher friend (thanks, Darby!), I spent this weekend in the fascinating world of Birds Aren’t Real, a satirical conspiracy theory group that insists the U.S. government has replaced all birds with surveillance drones to spy on people.

That pigeon? A liar.
Curious seagull? Stealing your credit card info.
Sparrows on the power line? Drones on idle while their batteries recharge. 

The movement launched as a goof in 2017 and has grown to include millions of social media followers and now a tell-all short documentary:

Should we use this 23-minute video as the foundation for a modern satire lesson for your upperclassmen? I vote yes!

Note: My lesson materials were designed to help students engage in a valuable discussion about online misinformation and are appropriate for 11th and 12th grade classes. Please be aware that a segment of the video presents the founder’s discontent with his conservative Christian upbringing. Also, the program includes one swear word when the founder says the word, “shit,” at the 13:17 mark. Of course, teachers should always preview media to determine its appropriateness for their individual classroom community. 

Billboard image credit: Andrewj0131, WikiMedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

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