This fake news lesson plan is based on one of the fabulous teaching resources created by EAVI. EAVI is a non-profit organization based in Brussels. They work to empower individuals to be active, engaged citizens in today’s increasingly challenging media environment.
When teaching news and media vocabulary, one has a great opportunity to teach critical thinking. The online world is full of disinformation, hoaxes, and fake news. We have the power to equip our students not only with language skills but also critical thinking skills.
Critical thinking with students means that they can take information and analyze it, draw conclusions, form and defend opinions with data to back it up, reflect on their work, and approach problems in a systematic way.
In this lesson plan, students will:
- research information
- determine the importance of arguments
- evaluate arguments
- solve problems
- critically reflect on their own assumptions and beliefs
I recommend this activity for older students(16+), after teaching media and news vocabulary.
Fake news lesson plan
Introduce the topic of fake news and hoaxes by a group discussion. You could ask these questions:
- What is a hoax?
- What is fake news?
- What hoaxes have you read about, seen online, shared?
- How did you know it wasn’t true?
- What can you do if you are not sure that the information is true?
- Can hoaxes and fake news be dangerous? Why?
- Put students into groups of 2 or 3
- Distribute copies of the Lesson Plan and Beyond the Headlines Poster to students.
- Students then analyze their content according to each of the 20 points and 1 bonus question using online search tools to investigate(I let students use their mobile phones/laptops, or they can use the school computers)
- When they have finished, ask each group to present their content and their findings in front of the class and write their final score on the board
- Compare the lowest and highest scores the groups received and discuss how everyone came to their own conclusions about their content
- Scientists agree that global warming is a hoax
- Russia claims it can wipe out the US Navy with an electronic bomb.
- Putin issues arrest warrant for financial terrorist George Soros.
- A passenger was allowed onto a flight after airport security confiscated his bomb.
- The US government has confirmed that cannabis can kill cancer cells.
- Professor Boyle believes that coronavirus is a biowarfare weapon, genetically modified for killing people.