News Literacy
How do you tell the difference between fact and fiction in the news?

Today’s Activities


How do you know if something is true?

We’ve all heard about ‘fake news’ and seen some of the “facts” people post on social media. And in this time of a global pandemic, conspiracy theories abound.  So what’s the best way to find out if something is real or not?

Watch:  Top 4 tips to spot bad science reporting


What are some other ways to sift through all the information on social media?

The link below provides another common-sense approach to spotting fake news.  

Fake News: How To Spot Misinformation: Life Kit

These sites do the investigative work for you, and will let you know if something is true or not:

Scan through these sites to discover if anything you may have seen posted online wasn’t entirely true. 


Can you tell fact from fiction?

In the following link, John Green of CrashCourse provides a video with some helpful follow-up questions for you to answer to see if you can detect fake news.

Check Yourself with Lateral Reading

Complete this worksheet based on the video:

Grade 9 – Hoaxes and Fakes – Read Laterally for Accuracy Student Handout

This link provides information specific to the rumors swirling around the Covid19 virus Sifting Through the Pandemic – Information hygiene for the Covid-19 infodemic


How can I apply what I have learned?

Using the skills you’ve learned above, go ahead and see if you can identify a piece of misleading or untrue news on social media.  Write a short description of the ‘news’ and what method you used to determine that it was misleading or just plain untrue.  

If someone you know posts something that is misleading or untrue,  should you respond? If so, what’s the most effective way to communicate with them?  


Make your own meme using credible sources.

This link provides information about which sources are credible in providing information about Covid 19:

Be careful where you get your news about coronavirus – Harvard Health Blog

Using a credible source, find information that you think is important to share.

Content ideas – Make it visual/ fun & positive (with respect)

  • how to avoid touching the face
  • explain COVID-19 symptoms
  • explain “social distancing”
  • share stress-relief tips
  • share ways to support/help older people & people at higher risk, due to health conditions
  • ideas for things to do if stuck at home
  • explain “flattening the curve” like example:

Once you have made your meme go ahead and share it with your classmates.

Write a reflection on what you have learned about spotting misleading and untrue information on social media.

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