Search for a hot news topic via Google or Bing and in an instant you’ll be inundated with news stories from local and national news sources, well known and obscure bloggers sharing their points of view, international news coverage, satire sites, click-bait and “fake news”. With so many news sources available online and in print, it’s more challenging than ever to judge the reliability, accuracy and point of view of many resources. Which makes it all the more important than ever to help students develop news literacy skills.
Teaching news literacy skills is a great opportunity for cross-discipline collaborations. Language arts for reading, comprehension and writing skills. Social studies for close examination of history, government and society. Math, science and arts for understanding and creating data, charts and infographics. It also provides a wonderful opportunity to help broaden students perspectives on the world by examining different cultures and points of view.
The Problem with Fake News (and how our students can solve it) (source)
THINGS TO EXPLORE
Readings & Resources
- Truth, truthiness, triangulation: A news literacy toolkit for a “post-truth” world – If you read nothing else, read this one. Joyce Valenza addresses the need for updating how we approach news literacy in light of the fake news explosion during recent election cycles.
- A Finder’s Guide To Facts – Great list of fact-finding questions to ask. From NPR
- ‘Nothing on this page is real’: How lies become truth in online America – Fascinating and disturbing article from the Washington Post. Highlights the problems people have discerning “truth.” And how easily ‘fake facts’ can be created and shared.
- Fact Vs. Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in the Age of Fake News – Excellent guide for educators and others. By Jennifer LaGarde and Darren Hudgins
- TOP 5 QUESTIONS ABOUT MEDIA LITERACY & FAKE NEWS – Quick factsheet for parents and educators. Part of this larger project: The Parent & Educator Guide to Media Literacy & Fake News
- Why elections like this prove that info literacy matters – Good advice from Carolyn Foote.
- Fake News, Alternative Facts and Librarians As Dedicated Defenders of Truth – “The same fact can be used by different people to support alternative opinions, but the facts don’t change. Different people can use the same facts to emphasize alternative ideas or to inform different theories, but the facts remain the same. Facts are non-partisan. Facts alone are neutral. It’s what we do with them that becomes controversial.”
- In on the joke: Political cartoons and the election– Joyce Valenza shares some great resources for teaching with political cartoons.
- Glossary: The Language of News Literacy
- 50 Ways to Teach With Current Events : Another NYTimes article with a terrific list of classroom activity ideas.
- Six Principles Behind News Literacy : Short summary of 6 basic principles, including: free expression, discerning fact from opinion, transparency, and more.
- The News Literacy Project : “An innovative national educational program that mobilizes seasoned journalists to work with educators to teach students how to sort fact from fiction.” Also, sign up for The Sift, their weekly newsletter with timely information to use with students.
- The Good Country Index – Lots of interesting data for comparing countries & teaching global awareness.
- Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning – Report from Stanford History Education Group on the state of student media literacy. Includes several assessments and rubrics.
“News” Sources – Some interesting lists of misleading, satirical, etc. “news” sites. Have students review some of the sites and assess them for themselves.
- False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical “News” Sources – “questionable “news” organizations that are commonly shared on facebook and other social media sites. Many of these websites rely on “outrage” by using distorted headlines and decontextualized or dubious information in order to generate likes, shares, and profits.”
- Snopes’ Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors – Snopes.com’s updated guide to the internet’s clickbaiting, news-faking, social media exploiting dark side.
- Newseum ED Free learning tools on media literacy and our First Amendment freedoms
- Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) – “SHEG ‘s current work focuses on how young people evaluate online content. In addition to our new assessments of Civic Online Reasoning, SHEG will soon be releasing materials to help students develop the skills needed to navigate our current digital landscape.”
- How to Choose Your News – Great TedEd video that’s a perfect student introduction to news literacy ideas.
- 3 FAST, FREE LESSON PLANS TO FIGHT FAKE NEWS: Example Fake News Digital Citizenship Lesson Plans and Bellringers
- How libraries can provide a forum for civil discourse – Carolyn Foote’s Election 2016 discussion forum project.
- News & Media Literacy Curriculum Resources Toolkit – excellent collection from Common Sense Education. Lesson collections for variety of grade levels from K to 12.
- The Learning Network : Lesson plans from the NYTimes learning initiative.
- Lesson plan: Understanding News Literacy – Five downloadable lesson plans from the Journalism Education Association covering: Understanding news literacy, How news is changing, Fact-checking in the digital age, Finding bias and When journalists must advocate for themselves.
- News and Media Literacy Lessons : Collection of links to lesson plans for news, media and information literacy from a variety of news education organizations.
- Pulitzer Center Lesson Plans : Lesson plans with a global focus. Primarily for middle and high school level. Includes a feature to help you build your own lessons. Example lesson: The Geography of Poverty
- AllSides – “Unlike regular news services, AllSides exposes bias and provides multiple angles on the same story so you can quickly get the full picture, not just one slant.” Terrific resource! Read Joyce Valenza’s detailed review.
- Media Literacy E-Resources | Reference 2018 – Updated list of tools to help your students hone their media literacy skills.
- Top 10 sites to help students check their facts – More top fact checking sites compiled by ISTE.
- Blue Feed, Red Feed – See Liberal Facebook and Conservative Facebook, Side by Side. Facebook often confirms our own bias and opinions. Use this tool to see what others are seeing.
- Factitious – Fun game to test your news skills. Fake or real?
- Break Your Own News – Generate your own fake headine graphics!
- Newsmap – Fascinating visual representation of news stories. Aggregates news stories from many sources. The more news articles there are around a topic, the larger that topic appears on the screen. Compare what’s of interest/concern in 15 countries.
- Listenwise : “Listenwise provides standards-aligned lesson plans and daily current events based on a curated collection of real world audio stories. We make it easy for teachers to bring authentic voices and engaging non-fiction to ELA, Social Studies, and STEM classrooms. Teach your students to listen with the power of public radio!” Free and Premium options. Includes Socrative quizzes for many of the news stories. Listenwise: Bringing World-Class Podcasts to the Classroom
- Newsela and Newsela Elementary : Publishes news articles from major sources, but written at 5 different reading levels. Newsela Elementary has a slightly smaller set of articles that don’t include mature topics. Many additional features to help teach news literacy and engage students. Free and Pro accounts. Spanish language articles too. (Review from EdSurge)
- NewsOMatic : News app for kids grades 2-6 (Browser, iOS and Android) Stories are presented in an engaging manner, lots of graphics, maps, puzzles, etc. Personal subscription is about $20 year. Educational version is also by subscription. One of AASL Best Apps 2013 (Review on EdShelf)
- Teaching Kids News : A news roundup for grades 2-8
- Swiipe: News That Knows You (review) – (rAn iOS app oriented at teens. Displays headlines from a variety of news sources, swipe to read or delete. One of AASL Best Websites 2018
- Youngzine : Another news roundup site aimed at grades K-8. One of AASL Best Websites 2013
- Kids news round-up : Joyce Valenza summarizes a ton of great tools.
- Rewordify : Trying to simplify a complex text? Copy and paste it into rewordify. Takes complex words and rephrases them. Not fool-proof, but does a pretty good job. Options for level of complexity. Also creates vocabulary games. (thanks to Cheryl Toomey for sharing this resource and the next one in resource in last year’s Cool Tools workshop)
- Readability Score : Handy tool for checking the reading level of a text. Limited use per day with free version.
MORE TO EXPLORE
- ADDITIONAL RESOURCES – Ongoing list of additional resources on this topic.
Each of you will have different interests to explore with this topic. Some ideas to explore:
- Read a selection of articles, summarize, react and share your opinions in your blog post.
- Explore the lesson plan ideas and select material for your own teaching. Share your ideas and resources in your blog post.
- Try out some of the services listed in the Tools section and share how you might use them in your own teaching.
- Anything else that interests you about this topic.
*TURNING IN YOUR ASSIGNMENT
- Write & publish your blog post.
- Copy the URL (webpage address) for your post.
- Return to your Google Classroom, find the assignment page for the lesson you just completed and follow the directions for turning in and sharing your work.
*Only for students participating in the workshop for PD credit hours through the Google Classroom.