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.