Lesson Plan

How Do You Know if it is Fake News or Sponsored Content?

Bell Ringers - Can you tell if it is Fake or Real?
Audrey D.
Technology coordinator
Anchorage School District
Anchorage, AK
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Objectives

Students struggle to understand what is real online and what is fake. This lesson plan uses strategies to help upper elementary and middle school students understand the differences. The old advice that we have given students for online research, "Check that it's a .gov or .edu" or "look for the author" is no longer helpful. These strategies are up to date to address the changing social media landscape. The main objective is to get students to think about the content that they are viewing.

Subjects
English Language Arts
discussion
forming arguments
reading
text analysis
using supporting evidence
Social Studies
cultural understanding
events
exploration
global awareness
history
Grades 5 - 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Bell Ringers Slide Show - What is Fake and What is True?

Bell Ringer Slides: Either use the slideshow as a stand alone lesson introduction to information literacy or view one side a day as a launch for critical thinking conversations.  Add to the slide presentation; using locally themed photos/visuals. Have students view and then discuss whether the statement and visual are real or fake. What makes something fake? How do you know if a news item is accurate? Look at the slide and examine both the photo/visual and the text.  Is this real or fake? Why do you think so? How do you know?

Play the game: Factitious. Can you tell if it is Fake activity and then launch into a discussion about the activity.  

Student Instructions

Bell Ringer Slides: What makes something fake? How do you know if a news item is accurate? Look at the slide and examine both the photo/visual and the text.  Is this real or fake? Why do you think so? How do you know?

Play the game: Factitious.  How did you know something was fake?  What was missing?  Was it hard at times to know if something was fake or true?  Why was it hard at times to know?

2 Fake News, Sponsored Content, and More: Teaching Online Research Skills

Use slide show to stem class discussion.  Use prompts and have students respond via Google docs.  Discuss findings. How do that know that the information is accurate?  Project Look Sharp offers other lessons and visual to examine Fake News and Media Literacy.

Student Instructions

As you discuss the slides with your teacher and other students think about how you can tell if something is true.

3 Assessment or Enrichment Activity - Fake News, Can You Spot It?

Common Sense Education has a great lesson plan that addresses Fake News along with Extensions.