News Validity

Students evaluate news, determining whether it is true or not.

Photo of Sarah Glatz
3 20

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The hook: We watched a video depicting an incident where Christmas lights were banned from an airport in Sweden, reportedly because they were upsetting Muslim people.  As it turned out, the lights were banned solely for safety reasons.  But the news was re-shared thousands of times and caused a lot of unwarranted negative feelings toward Muslims.  

Discussion:  We looked at some social media posts and talked about why they appeared to be true or why not.  We also generated a list of potential consequences of sharing news that is not true, from hurt feelings to making ourselves look uneducated and even violence! Then we brainstormed ways to find out for sure if an article is true.  We followed up with some short animated videos providing techniques for being critical about the news we read.  From all this, we were able to generate a checklist (attached).

Activity:  QR codes linked to various news articles were given to students.   They were asked to evaluate their article using the checklist that we generated.  The articles were each different.  Some were true, false, partially true, and even a few satire.  Students then shared their article and the detective work they had done.  

Share research or student experiences that informed your idea!

I came up with the idea during the most recent presidential election for obvious reasons. Conversations about the news were spilling over into the classroom and I thought it was very important that kids be thoughtful about what they are reading. Students had fun working on this assignment and particularly enjoyed debunking articles that appeared to be true. We recognized that even adults are not always good at finding out the facts before sharing.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jennifer Gaspar- Santos

Sarah, You might want to check out Paul's idea on Redesigning the Information Ecosystem. It reminded me of your post. You will get some inspiration from it:

This is a great idea---hope you keep building on it!

Photo of Paloma Nikolic

Hi Sarah,

This is such an awesome idea! It would be REALLY great if you could scan your checklist and attach it to your idea. Even a clearer photo would make it easier for people to recreate this in their classroom.



Photo of Paul Kim

Hi Sarah,

First of all, thanks for participating in this collaboration between the Teachers Guild and ISTE. We really appreciate your contribution!

We’re in the last week of the build phase of the challenge on digital citizenship so it’s time to fine tune your idea before final voting begins next week.

Here are some things to consider as you continue to build on your idea:
- is your idea clear and will it inspire action from other teachers?
- would it be easy for a teacher to incorporate your idea about digital citizenship in their classroom?
- does your idea include some component of research and are there shareable resources?
- is your idea student-centered and does it promote agency?