Lesson Plan

You Can't Believe Everything You See

Students will explore the concept that not everything they see on the Internet is true.
Suzanne C.
Media specialist/librarian
Fairview Elementary School
Maryville, United States
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to...

-  use technology resources for solving problems and making informed decisions. 

-  determine the usefulness and appropriateness of electronic information and apply critical analysis to resolve conflicts (discrepancies between sources) and validate information.

English Language Arts
Grades 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Show video of Statefarm French Model Commercial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_CgPsGY5Mw. Most students have already seen it on television, but use it again to get them in the mindset of, “Not everything on the Internet is true.” Then have them watch the House Hippos commercial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TijcoS8qHIE and compare. Is it more or less believable than the French model? Why?

2 Direct Insruction

After watching the commercial, introduce the CRAAP test. Discuss how the questions in the test help to determine if the information offered on a website is good information for school assignments or personal use. Share the video demonstration on how to use the form correctly https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYajnQ-peP4 

3 Guided Practice

Using the House Hippos video which they have already viewed, go through the steps on the CRAAP Test worksheet as a group and analyze the content of the video. Answer any student questions and clear up any confusion on how to apply the steps of the test to a potential information source.

4 Independent Practice

Have students evaluate the website for the Great Northwest Tree Octopus http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/. Provide link to site and copy of CRAAP Test worksheet PDF for them to make notes of the evidence they find.

5 Wrap Up

Review the purpose of the CRAAP test with students. Why is it important to know when the information was published or posted? What difference does the intended audience make? What is the author’s purpose (or purpose of website in general)? Does how you will be using the information make a difference in how you evaluate it? At the end of the lesson ask students to tell one question from the TEST that surprised them. Do they see now why that question was included?

Although we are using the lesson primarily to talk about websites and prepare the students to find reliable sites to use for research projects, this skill also applies to seeking information for personal use. The Test can be applied to information from all sources – commercials, articles in newspapers or magazines, etc. Ask students if they know anyone or have heard of anyone who has been tricked by unreliable information; for example, they may have heard parents talk about e-mail scams, or even seen news coverage about them.

Note on differentiation/accommodation: Students who have difficulty with reading comprehension or other skills used in the lesson can be paired with another student to complete the worksheet. They can also  answer fewer questions for each section of the worksheet if their working pace will be an issue.

Student Instructions

For further practice visit the DHMO website and apply the CRAAP Test to it. Would you use it as a trustworthy resource? Why or why not?