Grade 9

Hoaxes and Fakes

How can you avoid being fooled by fake videos and other information online?

We know not to believe everything we hear, but what about what we see? Advancements in computer-generated graphics, facial recognition, and video production have led to a world of viral videos that are often difficult to identify as fake. Help your students learn to read what they see on the web "laterally" by showing them how to get off the page, check credibility, and find corroboration.

See the U.K. version of this lesson plan

Learning Objectives:
  • Define "misinformation" and explore the consequences of spreading misinformation online.
  • Learn how to use lateral reading as a strategy to verify the accuracy of information online.
  • Apply lateral reading to examples of questionable videos to determine their accuracy.
Key Vocabulary: corroboration  ·  disinformation  ·  lateral reading  ·  misinformation
additional source(s) that confirm or support the claims of a news story, article or piece of information
false or inaccurate information intended to deceive
lateral reading:
a method of determining credibility of online information in which you open multiple tabs to search for other information to validate the site’s claims
false or inaccurate information, especially that which is intended to deceive
News & Media Literacy
This lesson meets standards for Common Core ELACASELAASLand ISTESee standards

Lesson Plan

50 mins.
Extension Activity:

How concerned are you about deep fake videos as a misinformation threat?  In this activity, you'll explore the issue, form your opinion, and create a short video explaining your position.

1. Do a bit of your own research on the issue. Here are some resources to get you started:

2. Synthesize your thoughts, explaining three main points on why you think we should be really worried, or why you don't think it's too worrisome.

3. Create a short explainer video summarizing information you found and expressing your viewpoint. You can use iMovie, Binumi, or WeVideo, or check with your teacher for other multimedia creation tools we recommend. 

4. If your teacher recommends, share your video with your classmates for feedback. 

What You'll Need

Select resources below, then open in English or Spanish. Unlock free resources

Classroom resources

  • Lesson Slides
  • Reading Laterally for Accuracy Handout Teacher Version
  • Lesson Quiz

Take-home resources