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Gail S Hennessey's picture
Gail Skroback Hennessey taught for over 33 years, teaching sixth grade in all but two years. She earned a BA in early secondary education with a concentration in social studies and an MST in social...
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FAKE News! Teaching Digital Literacy

Seems like almost every day, this term is being used. Just WHAT is Fake News? Can you tell the difference between fake and real news?  

  1. A cyclist in England snapped a photograph of some very unusual pigs. They looked like sheep with their wooly coats.  He posted the photographs on social media. Do you think what he posted was a real photograph or fake? Why? How would you go about determining whether this is a real or fake story? ___________________________________________________
  2. A couple of years ago, it was announced that on a certain date, April 20th, the planet Uranus would be moving into the moon’s orbit and for ninety minutes, the moon would appear green. The very rare occurrence had a name. It was known as a “green Moon”. The news story posted on Facebook said that the last time this scientific event occurred was 420 years ago! People were encouraged to share the news story. What do you think of this story? Real or Fake? WHY?  _______________________________________________________
  3. After a tragedy such as an earthquake or flooding, many people are homeless. Designed by architects in Poland, the Skyshelter may be helpful. An  accordion-like shelter, it can be airlifted easily to where temporary shelter is needed. Once on site, the “skyscraper” unfolds almost instantly and can be used as housing. There is a balloon inside which quickly can be filled with helium to raise the building. What do you think of this story? Could it be a real story or is it fake? ____________________________________________________
  4. It was stated that when President Barack Obama was President, he signed an Executive Order banning the National Anthem at all sporting events in the United States? Do you think this was True or Fake news? Why?___________________________________________________
  5. Why do you think people create “fake news”? _______________________
  6. Why do you think so many people "believe" FAKE News stories?______________________________________________________
  7. “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own set of facts,” said a famous lawmaker named Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. What do you think he was saying with this statement?________________________________________
  8. For World Penguin Day(held every April 25th),the BBC announced an amazing discovery in Antarctica. Flying penguins were spotted! The announcement stated that the flying birds actually fly about 1000 miles to South America,in the winter time, to spend time in the tropics. What was used in the article to suggest this MIGHT be a true story?______________ How could you go about determining whether or not the story was true?_____________________________

For Teachers:

Lesson Plan for Teaching Kids to Spot Fake News

Great chart to help students learn how to determine FAKE and REAL News:

FREE Download: FAKE NEWS! Teaching Digital Critical Literacy