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Essential Learning Targets

I can evaluate information and find reliable information.

21st CENTURY SKILL: Problem Solving

I can recognize signs of misinformation.

21st CENTURY SKILL: Critical Thinking


Bias : a tendency to believe that some people, ideas, or opinions are better than others

Confirmation Bias : the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one's existing beliefs or theories.

Disinformation : false information that is given to people in order to make them believe something or to hide the truth

"Fake News" : a slang term for false information that appears to be news stories

Evaluate : to judge the value of something in a careful and thoughtful way

Misinformation : information that is not completely true or accurate

Reliable : able to be trusted or able to be believed

Satire : a way of using humor to show that someone or something is foolish, weak, or bad

Scientific Consensus : the general agreement among scientists in a particular field

Snake Oil Salesman : someone who deceives people in order to get money from them

Definitions adapted from, Oxford Languages, and Cambridge Dictionary.

Fact Checking Resources

YouTube Playlists

Health & Science Information Slides

Loom version with narration here.

Can you spot the problem with these headlines?

'Fake News' explained: How disinformation spreads

Fact checking online is more important than ever

Real or Fake? Image Analysis

View answers and explanations here.

Prevent the Spread of Misinformation

Loom version with narration coming soon.

"All The Fake News That's Fit to Print" LibGuide by Mx. Gartley and Mr. Brough

Fact-Check Strategies

  1. Consider the source: Click away from the story to find more information about the site.
  2. Read beyond: Read past the headline. What’s the whole story?
  3. Check the author: Do a quick search on the author.
  4. Supporting sources: Are there links or other sources to back up the claims?
  5. Check the date: Reposting old news stories doesn’t make them relevant to current events.
  6. Is it a joke? Find more info about the site or author, the story may be satire.
  7. Check your biases: Does this story confirm your own beliefs or views?
  8. Ask the experts: Ask a librarian or visit a fact-checking site.

Adapted from "How to Spot Fake News" by the International Federation of Library Associations.

Five Ws

1. Who

Who is the author? Are they an expert?

2. What 

What information is provided? Is this information consistent with other sources?

3. When

When was the information published?

4. Where

Where did the author find their information? Is there a bibliography or works cited list? 

5. Why

Why did the author publish this information? (To educate or inform? To persuade? To sell a product?)

Adapted from Kathy Schrock's Critical Evaluation resources.

Top 10 Red Flags

Top 10 Red Flags for Misleading Health Information:

  1. Recommendations that promise a quick fix.
  2. Dire warnings of danger from a single product or regimen.
  3. Claims that sound too good to be true.
  4. Simplistic conclusions drawn from a complex study.
  5. Recommendations based on a single study.
  6. Dramatic statements that are refuted by reputable scientific organizations.
  7. Lists of “good” and “bad” foods.
  8. “Spinning” information from another product to match the producer’s claims.
  9. Stating that research is “currently underway,” indicating that there is no current research.
  10. Non-science based testimonials supporting the product, often from celebrities or highly satisfied customers.

Adapted from Nutrition Misinformation: How to Identify Fraud and Misleading Claims by L. Bellows and R. Moore at Colorado State University

History of the 1918 Flu Pandemic

Why people fall for misinformation

Ms. Elizabeth Gartley | Daniel F. Mahoney Middle School | 240 Ocean Street | South Portland, Maine | 04106 | Tel: 207-799-7386