In a new weekly post, I’d like to give you some resources for one current event topic that has been in the news (including social media). I’ll include several links to different news stories about the topics, and include at least one lesson plan that you can download and use in your class with very little prep.
These posts would be good for a recurring current events reading project – I’ve done a ‘Tuesday News-day’ project in several different reading classes. You can present a ready-to-go news article for students to read and analyze, or have students find their own articles to share with classmates.
This morning I woke up to news that a man had opened fire in a pizza shop because he so strongly believed in a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton. Because fake news is so prevalent on the internet and social media, and because current students do not know when news is fake or not, I thought that fake news might be a good place to start for the current events round-up. Below are a few links to news stories relating to fake news, and finally there’s a short lesson plan on how to recognize fake news stories. These links range in skill level from low-intermediate (who can usually read the NPR articles) to advanced.
- Facebook and Google Take Steps to Confront Fake News
- Man Fires Assault Rifle in Pizzeria Named in Fake News Conspiracy
- The City Getting Rich From Fake News
- How Curated Articles Could Help Facebook Fight Fake News
- You’ve Probably Been Tricked By Fake News and Don’t Know It
- Why We’re So Apt to Believe Fake News, Reviews, and Apps
- Solving the Problem of Fake News
- Fake News: An Insidious Trend That’s Becoming a Global Problem (Note: This article is very long and probably most appropriate for advanced or academic students…however, I think it would be really interesting to have them compare and contrast fake news around the world!)
- Almost All the Traffic to Fake News Sites is From Facebook
- The Saga of ‘Pizzagate’
The Lesson Plan: This is a lesson plan on learning to recognize fake news articles. Part of this is understanding the bias behind certain websites or organizations. This is difficult for American students, let alone international students. I would recommend making bias-recognition a regular part of class, especially if you are teaching a reading or writing class, so students can start to understand this in their IEP classes before moving on to university classes where they will be expected to be able to analyze sources. This lesson plan is most appropriate for intermediate and advanced readers. The majority of the words in the article (78%) are K-1 and K-2 words (words found within the 1000 and 2000 most commonly used words), but the length may be a bit difficult for low-intermediate readers.