Teaching how can you spot ‘fake news’?


How do you find your information? How do you ‘hear’ about things? How can you know what events really happened? In this lesson plan, we will explore the dangers of believing everything we read online, where to find reliable sources, and how the internet is fooling us into believing that we get a nuanced view on important topics. This is a global challenge and this lesson plan is a cooperation between the Wilderness school in Australia organized by Ann Rooney and Sandvika high school in Norway. If you would like to join us in this project feel free to reach out. This is an important and scary topic, and even if we tend to relate this to what is happening in the US these days, this happens on a larger scale than we would want to acknowledge. Can we say that people in Australia and Norway are more educated in this respect than in the US?

Lesson plan

Think and discuss:

Look at twitter messages in the picture above and in groups of 4, discuss how likely you are to believe news like this? How do you find your information? How do you get your news? How can you know what events really happened? Do you have other examples of fake news that went viral? Have you ever shared news that turned out to be fake? Discuss examples with your group.

Critical thinking can you rely on your sources? How to fight misinformation

biggest-fake-newsRead this article Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America written by Lauren Duca. and then look at the 6 things you can do to empower yourself against misinformation.

  1. Fact check every statement and headline, read this article by BBC
  2. Report inaccuracies and misinformation on social media
  3. Inform yourself about trustworthy sources
  4. Check browser extensions for unreliable sources
  5. Refer to a list of fake news outlets (LINK)
  6. Be curious and ask questions

Write a short list of how to make sure that your sources are reliable and how your group thinks this is influencing how students think about politics and democracy today. Donald Trump talks about CNN and Buzzfeed in the video below. What are your thoughts on Trump’s reaction? Write all your points on this Padlet here.

Read these articles:

Divide the articles between the members of the group and use marker.to to highlight important parts. Share in your groups your findings. Share that on the Padlet above.

  1.  Did Media Literacy Backfire? by Danah Boyd
  2. Truthy lies and surreal truths: a plea for critical digital literacies written by 
  3. President-elect blasts alleged Russian dossier as ‘like Nazi Germany‘ posted in the Daily Telegraph, written by 
  4. 2016 and the truth behind fake news |USA|Al Jazeera
  5. False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and/or Satirical “News” Sources
  6. Trump berated a CNN reporter, CJR
  7. Facebook Journalism project against fake news, Newsweek

Write your blog post

fake-news-1024x596Based on all this information write an article about the topic. Include a paragraph about how search engines can help you in spotting fake news, and a paragraph where you comment on what students in Australia and the USA have written about the topic. See info in our Padlet.  End the article by summing up how fake news is a problem for democracy and your prediction of how this will play out in the years to come. Have in mind that you are writing the articles for students in Australia aged 14-15. You might want to include the Norwegian perspective on this topic. If you decide to include more articles as your sources be sure to mention that in your post. Make your own fake news headline based on your article. Use this website to make an image that you share on your blog.

Google hangout

Will be on the 10th and 17th of February. Be prepared to talk about your blog posts and defend your views on the topic.



Categories: Lesson plans

4 replies


  1. FAKE(!) NEWS – ingridgrydeland
  2. TCEA 2017, Austin Texas – Connected Teaching and Learning
  3. “Fake” news | MatiSpeaksEnglish
  4. Teaching Kids About Fake News | Hooked On Innovation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: