I can be a fact-checker, too! (LS-RO-642)

Introduction

In a time when information spreads rapidly from one place in the world to another, combined with a series of undesirable events (the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine) which cause anxiety to millions of people, teenagers have become very vulnerable to the effects of fake news. This learning scenario seeks to equip learners with instruments to help them distinguish fake news and ease the consequences of false or alarmist information. The learning scenario can be divided into two parts which can be taught separately: sources of information and fake news.

Learning process

This activity is suitable for both online and face-to-face settings. If organised face-to-face, it represents a mixture of physical activities and ICT instruments. The lesson starts with a visual thinking activity which has the role of pushing children towards deep observation and vocabulary activation. At the same time, it is an opportunity to make a comparison between the way people used to find out about news in the past and the way we do it now.  All these happen by focusing on three questions: What is going on in the picture? What do you see that makes you say that? What more can we find?

Looking at the picture – A group of people are gathered around a couple reading a newspaper. Engraving by W. Taylor after Sir David Wilkie, Wellcome Collection, CC BY. Photo by Alina Popov, CC BY.

The students identify sources of information and choose the ones they use in their daily lives. A graph analysis will also reveal the reasons why the way people pick their information has changed.

The spread of information is related to fake news, which the students are very aware of. The next challenge is to find ways of dealing with it. The students are given hands-on methods of checking the validity of written information and photographs. The final activity consists of summarizing all the information acquired in a poster.

Matching words and definitions; working on the poster. Photos by Alina Popov, CC BY.

Conclusion

At the end of the learning scenario,  the students give TAG feedback: T- tell something you liked, A-ask a question, G-give a suggestion which is a way of reflecting on their own learning.

Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below:

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CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Wellcome Collection.

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