Stop the Fake News Cycle

Essential Question

How can we spot Fake News?

Lesson Objectives

  • SWBAT Analyze digital media and determine its credibility and reliability.

Lesson Context / Summary

This lesson can be used as a prequel to the Should I CITE-IT lesson to familiarize students with the concept of using critical thinking skills when looking at online information.


Student devises with internet access.


Lesson Opener

I start the lesson by asking students whether they have heard the term "Fake News" and follow the discussion based on their answers. As students share their ideas, I chart or write on the board the terms related to what makes any type of media "Fake".

I continue the discussion asking why would it be important to double check the information that a website or social media post presents before sharing it.

Direct Instruction

Once students have shared their ideas I tell them that today we will be learning some ways to spot fake news and share the following Common Sense Media video: 


The original video and accompanying article can be found by clicking this link that leads you to the Common Sense Media website.

Guided Practice

I display this image I created and go over each of the terms.

As the image is still displayed, I tell students that they will be playing the online game Factitious, where the object is to spot Fake News. Before they start the game, I have students make a copy of this sheet so they can keep track of their answers and clues. 

After the students have played the game, we hold a discussion centered around how difficult/easy it is to spot fake news.


Assessment / Reflection

As an assessment, I ask the students to create a digital product (Google drawing, infographic, slide deck) for stopping the spread of Fake News, using the prompt "5 steps to take before clicking the share button".

The digital product may be evaluated using this rubric.




Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.


Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.


Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.


Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

I love this lesson plan Mariana.

Thank you :)

This is such a lesson plan treasure trove! I love how it incorporates so many ways to learn (video, infographic, even a game) and introduces students to the concept of unreliable news, while also helping them identify reliable sources! And you included a rubric with your assessment!

Great lesson plan, I'll use it as a resource.

A fun incorporation of analyzing, using and making digital media with learning outcomes!