Fighting Fake News

Fake news. Alternative facts. Internet trolls. In an age of Newspeak, it's increasingly important to equip 21st century learners with the skills needed to determine the legitimacy of claims put forth on social media, in print, and in broadcast news. Class members read articles, listen to an interview with professor Melissa Zimdars, check out her list of fake news sights, and use the provided consumer's handbook of tips to help identify fake news postings.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Make copies of the fact-checking cheat sheet for all class members
  • Ask class members to use the cheat sheet and one of the fact checking websites to evaluate a story posted on social media
  • Assign individuals one of the news sites identified on Melissa Zimdars' list and have them investigate a story reported on the site
  • Use the resource and its related articles to launch a unit study of fake news
Classroom Considerations

  • A protocol must in place for a safe, respectful discussion of the topic
Pros

  • As a hook, class members complete a Stanford study that measures their ability to evaluate online evidence
  • The resource offers specific examples of fake news stories and circular reporting
Cons

  • None