Fake news is not new news, and it is becoming more of an issue every day. In today’s world, students are so accustomed to having any information they need at their fingertips, they don’t realize that not all of this news is real. Teaching students about fake news and its repercussions is an important job and not one to be taken lightly. Let’s get started!
There are many resources available online for teaching students about fake news and its dangers. Though this topic may seem like one that it is challenging to teach, it doesn’t have to be!
- Lesson plan: How to teach your students about fake news: PBS offers a lesson plan to help students learn about fake news, as fake news is becoming a huge problem today in the media. Included in the lesson is an introduction, an essential question, a warm up activity, a procedure for the main activity, and extension activities. The goal of this 50-minute lesson is to teach high school students how to navigate the media and spot fake news. Fake news is not a topic to be taken lightly and can be quite dangerous, which is why you should definitely share some of the examples of fake news that are included in the opening to make sure students understand the gravity of the concept.
- Media Misinformation, Viral Deception, and “Fake News”: Libraries @ University of Wyoming provides a list of lesson plans and educational ideas for teachers who want their students to learn about fake news. Links for resources from the Stanford University History Education Group, the New York Times, NPR, and others are given. (The site also provides two other tabs dedicated to definitions and resources/strategies.)
- Fact checking and fake news lesson plans – The ultimate teacher guide: BookWidgets published a fake news guide, which gives teachers information on the dangers of fake news, tips to spot fake news, fake news lesson resources, fact checking websites, trustworthy resources for students, and a fake news generator tool. This blog post gives teachers plenty of lesson material to use in the classroom and recommends four other free lesson plans.
- Fake news and the spread of misinformation: Denise-Marie Ordway from Journalist’s Resource wrote an article about fake news and the spread of misinformation. After a short introduction, a series of quotes are provided which help readers to understand the concept of fake news, why people spread and/or believe fake news, social media and fake news in the 2016 election, and many other related ideas.
- 4 Tips for Spotting a Fake News Story: Harvard Summer School published an article giving people tips for spotting a fake news story. Christina Nagler, the author, explains why fake news goes viral before jumping into four tips for evaluating news. She discusses vetting the publisher’s credibility, paying attention to quality and timeliness, checking the sources and citations, and asking the pros. This article is a great one for students to read because it will make them more aware of fake news stories they see when scrolling through social media or fake news websites they access when writing papers.
- In the age of fake news, here’s how schools are teaching kids to think like fact-checkers: This article, published by QUARTZ, discusses how schools should teach kids to think like fact-checkers in the age of fake news. The author, Annabelle Timsit, talks about how students today aren’t prepared to deal with the immense amount of information coming at them from their cell phones and therefore don’t understand that not all of this information is accurate. Overall, this piece is great for teachers to learn more about fake news and how they should approach the topic in the classroom to their students.
- Explained: What is Fake News?: webwise explains what fake news is, the rise of fake news, the different types of fake news, the fake news business model, what we can do about fake news, and how to spot fake news. The site also provides a video on how fake news works and how the internet can stop it. This piece is loaded with great facts about fake news and will be extremely useful for students when navigating the internet.
- Fake News: Oxford Research Encyclopedias has a page explaining what fake news is, the concerns over fake news, the origin of the term and the definition, the production of fake news, the circulation and distribution of fake news, countering fake news, and future challenges from fake news. There is so much valuable information on this site, though it may be a bit dense, to use in the classroom. The best way to utilize this information would probably be to intersperse it with lesson plans and activities.
All of the resources provided on this page will help you in your journey to teach students about fake news. In addition, you can pull fake news articles from fake news websites to show students the differences between these articles and real news. Seeing it with your own eyes is the best way to learn about this topic!
- Quiz: Can You Spot the Fake News Story?: This quiz from Channel One News is a fun educational activity to incorporate into your classroom when teaching about fake news. Many students may believe they can spot a fake news story, and this quiz will test their theories. There are six questions, each of which ask students to decide which news story is fake news. Students will be challenged to examine logos and spot unusual headlines or conspiracy theories!
- Where Does Fake News Come From?: CITS posted an article explaining where fake news comes from and showing students how people create fake news sites. The article touches upon creating a fake site, stealing content, selling advertising, spreading via social media, and repeating. Learning about how people create fake news site may help students to understand that it is really not that hard and unfortunately happens all the time!