Want to teach your students the digital literacy they need to stop the spread of fake news on social media but don't have the time to develop a lesson plan on this new and ever-developing topic?
Included in this common core aligned resource is everything your students need to know about fake news and the new media literacy as well as the cognitive biases that cause us to fall for manipulative media. These critical thinking activities will take your students’ critical thinking skills and social emotional learning to the next level.
You would think students who have grown up with the internet would easily navigate everything it has to offer, but according to a study done by Stanford researchers, that couldn't be further from the truth. Researchers describe the results of the study done on middle school, high school, and college students across the country “in one word: bleak.” Additionally, as students will learn in the lessons included here, events such as a man firing an assault-style weapon at a New York pizza restaurant demonstrate that fake news can have very real effects.
The good news is that you can do something about this.
When students have the skills to tell the difference between an advertisement and an editorial, they might not be tricked into buying products that they don't need and they can’t afford.
When teenagers know how to tell if they can trust a tweet, they won't inadvertently retweet a damaging story about an innocent individual.
If future or current voters know how to check on news stories that they read on Facebook, they won’t decide on candidates with information from fake news.
The multi-day lesson plans included here will take students through the process of identifying what they know, understanding the impact of fake news and viral sharing on the real world, looking at the way that quality journalism is constructed, and learning what they need to know to be responsible consumers of media.
In all, there is enough for a two week’s worth of lesson plans including:
• a fun quiz to “catch” students in one of the common cognitive biases
• questions on two different entertaining videos about cognitive bias
• questions on an informative and challenging non-fiction article about cognitive bias
• questions for a close reading of a famous poem that they’ll see in a totally new light
• a prompt, rubric, and graphic organizer for an informational essay on cognitive bias
• an engaging introductory “quiz” for students to see what they need to know about fake news
• questions for close reading on two compelling and contemporary non-fiction articles about the consequences of fake news
• an extensive answer key for all sets of questions
• handouts and rubrics for a cooperative group presentation project
• information on how to examine and verify media including advertisements, photographs, Facebook, Twitter, news articles, and news websites
• a rubric to grade the presentations from the project
• a final quiz to assess what students have learned.
Get your students thinking about important questions such as:
—Why is it that when people are faced with evidence that disputes already held beliefs, they actually become more convinced that their beliefs are correct?
—Why do people make irrational decisions?
—Why are smart people often victims of fake news?
These plans are ready to go with minimal prep on your part. Engage your students with these innovative, challenging, and accessible lessons tomorrow.
These lessons have been updated twice since I first created this resource just a few months ago, and I will continue to update them so that they are relevant and fresh for your classes.