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Teacher-Created Lesson Plan

Don't Get Tricked By Fake News!

Students will be introduced to the idea of Fake News, learn why fake news is an important issue, and learn strategies to identify and avoid sharing Fake News.
Maria L.
Classroom teacher
Energy Tech High School
Long Island City, United States
Show More
My Subjects Social Studies

Students will be able to...

  • Describe the issues surrounding the verification of online sources
  • Verify the reliability of a variety of online sources
Social Studies
Grades 9 – 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 News Survey

Students will answer the following questions by going to Google Classroom and filling out a Google Form that has been assigned to them. 

1. How do you primarily get your news? (social media/online media sites/cable news /newspaper /other)

2. How often do you watch/read/listen to the news? __

3. Do you think it’s important to pay attention to the news why or why not?

4. How do you know if what you read/hear/listen to in the news is trustworthy?

5. How confident are you that you would know fake news if you saw it? (circle one)

1- not confident 2 - Somewhat confident 3- Very confident

2 Lecture: Intro to Fake News

Activity: Other — Lecture/Notes

Teacher will use Google Slide Presentation to review the following:

Reliability of Sources

Historians need to determine the authenticity and reliability of sources in order to establish their usefulness

  • Identify the author of the source
  • Consider possible bias
  • View multiple points of view of the same historical event
  • Read skeptically and critically
  • Verify evidence by cross-checking with other sources

Review the issue using graphs (Fake news is an current issue affecting our ability to address other problems of our time)

What is and is NOT fake News?

Fake news is....

  • Disinformation for profit - hoax sites who engineer fake news stories to reap digital advertising revenue
  • Disinformation for political gain - state-funded fraudulent websites set up by one country to sow confusion in another
  • Hacking - Hackers gain access to the websites or social media accounts of reputable news outlets and disseminate fake stories.
  • Viral pranks - hoaxes spread for fun
  • Uncritically reporting a hoax as fact: a well-crafted hoax spreads widely enough that a credible news outlet reports on it as fact or as a rumor

Fake news is NOT....

  • Satire Websites: Websites like The Onion write news parodies. Readers who don’t know it’s satire may mistake it for fact.
  • Satirical stories from regular news sites: Opinion and feature writers in mainstream media will sometimes use satire or fanciful hypothetical examples to make a point.
  • Honest reporting mistakes: Even the best reporters sometimes get things wrong, report things as fact before they’re confirmed or get spun by sources who aren’t telling the whole truth. But if there’s no intention to fool anyone, it’s not fake news.
  • Journalism you don’t like: Just because you don’t like what the author says, that doesn’t make it fake news.


For the remainder of the lesson, students will work in groups a various stations to develop a better understanding of the danger fake news poses and ways to avoid being tricked into believing or sharing fake news. 

Student Instructions

Students will take notes in Graphic Organizer.

3 Fake News Videos

Student Instructions

Students will answer the following question: 

1) What is Fake News? Where does it come from? Why is it so dangerous?

2) How can we as individuals ensure we are getting the best information about current events?

3) How can you make sure you don’t fall victim to fake news?

4 Online Articles on Avoiding Fake News

5 Take the Fake News Quiz!

Students will go to the site: factitious.augamestudio.com

and take the Fake news quiz (double check to make sure this site isn't blocked at your school site). 


More info about this quiz here: https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/07/03/533676536/test-your-fake-news...