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Reading, Writing and Recognizing Fake News

Teaching Activities for: ‘In Italian Schools, Reading, Writing and Recognizing Fake News’

This lesson plan is from The New York Times.

Before reading the article:

Does your school teach you how to spot fake news, or how to judge a reliable news source from an unreliable one?  What sort of instruction have you received in school about fake news? Would you like more information on the topic? Should instruction on fake news be part of every student’s school curriculum? Why or why not?

Now, read the article, “In Italian Schools, Reading, Writing and Recognizing Fake News,” and answer the following questions:

  1. What extraordinary experiment is the Italian government undertaking, in cooperation with leading digital companies, including Facebook?
  2. Why is Italy especially fertile ground for digital deceit, according to the article?
  3. What is the Five Star Movement, and what does Alessandro Campi, a professor of political science at Perugia University, say about its owner, Beppe Grillo?
  4. What does Laura Boldrini think the government must do to teach the next generation of Italian voters how to defend themselves against falsehoods and conspiracy theories?
  5. What is Ms. Boldrini’s role in the new student curriculum? What does the Italian course load include, besides keeping an eye out for parody URLs?
  6. How does the Five Star Movement profit from fake news, and who else besides students has the potential to be deceived by it?
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