So one of my students is a flat-Earther. A couple others may be on the fence.
It's been a long time since I've posted, but I feel like my head is going to explode and I don't have anyone to share this with.
I have a group of 8th graders (thankfully, only for two more days) and the end of the course was a unit on critical thinking. I showed an obviously fake website and we had a good laugh at almost being tricked by it. Then as a contrast, I showed them the flat Earth society's page and asked if they thought it was real. I expected them to say "no, it's fake" or to know it was a real group because they'd heard of them before.
So, I start playing a video about the group where they folks explain what they believe. A few people in the group were giggling or making comments about them being stupid. The girl sitting closest to me was getting visibly agitated. Somewhere, she said out loud to the group that she believes the Earth is flat.
So I had to take control of the tone in the room, and make sure we were being respectful to her. It was a challenge!
She saw the guy on the video with a round model of the flat Earth, and she explained that his model is wrong because the Earth is a SQUARE. The bible says there's four corners to the world, and so it has to be a square.
The whole class went off the rails.
When the class left, I sat alone in the room with my face in my hands muttering obscenities to myself.
Today I had them again, and I just laid out some critical thinking points without getting into the details of the shape of the Earth. But the kids kept wanting to dive in. At least one had found some of the Flat Earther's arguments persuasive. I didn't want to go down the rabbit hole. The girl threatened to walk out. I put on a movie and pretty much gave up.