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Media & News Literacy

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

Vocabulary

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 LearnersDictionary.com, Oxford Languages, and Cambridge Dictionary.

Fact Checking Resources

YouTube Playlists

What is Fake News?

"Fake News" is, as its name describes, news that is not true. But why do people create fake news? How does it spread and how can we avoid it?

Start with this overview from the Gale database In Context: Middle School to get an understanding of what Fake News is and is not: Fake News and Misinformation.

Then, explore some of the videos and other resources to learn more.

How Fake News Spreads

Misleading Headlines and Click Bait

Fake Photos and Deepfakes

People who create fake news use sophisticated digital techniques. They can alter photos and videos to make the subjects look bad. Learn more about altered photos, deep fakes, and more with these resources.

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.

The Three Types of Information Disorders

Image Source: Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and First Draft https://shorensteincenter.org/information-disorder-framework-for-research-and-policymaking/

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