This lesson is the "Meat and Potatoes" of the unit I have been developing on Fake News. I taught this with my intermediate ELL's this spring, and they were immediately engaged with the news stories of the day.
It follows these lessons also available on my site:
Fake News Lesson 1: Is Truth Important?
Fake News Lesson 2: News Vocabulary
A growing bundle of the entire unit is also available here
. The growing bundle includes the first three lessons in the unit, with two additional lessons on their way very soon!
In the lesson, students will begin with a quickwrite on a hypothetical situation in which they would want to determine whether what they were reading is true or not. Then, they will be presented with a list of four criteria they can use to help identify fake news, including examples to examine. With a partner, they will apply their understanding by matching pre-written annotations with the elements of a real fake news story. Afterward, they will write their own annotations and evaluate another fake news story. By the end, students should feel comfortable that they have strategies for examining and evaluating news stories they might encounter to decide if they are fake news.
When I taught this in my classroom, I followed up with a quick blog assignment for students to create their own fake news story related to current events. The results were quite entertaining... as I develop the unit I may include that assignment in one of the final two lessons!
A scoring rubric is included for student work.
I include a .pdf of all files, as well as links to the Google Docs versions so that you can make your own copy and edit as needed.
The overall sequence of the unit is:
Lesson 1: Is the truth important?
Lesson 2: Key vocabulary. Defining journalism, media, social media, news outlets, fake news, credibility, and post-truth.
Lesson 3: How to spot fake news.
Lesson 4: Why lie? What is “Fake News” and why would people create it? Why do people read and share it?
Lesson 5: What to do when you encounter fake news.