Are your students drowning in a sea of (mis)information? To help them navigate a media landscape where real and fake sometimes look all too similar, the Newseum Education Department offers a hands-on class that is free for school groups.
“Fighting Fake News: How to Outsmart Trolls and Troublemakers” is designed to give students real, accessible strategies for weeding out fake news stories and to show them it’s a problem that can be tackled as a fun challenge, not just an additional burden. Students explore what fake news is and isn’t, what motivates its creation, clues to spot it, and how misinformation can have real-world impacts. They make their own fake news in a Mad Libs-style activity, and compose click-bait headlines designed to entertain or to sell something. Lastly, in the Fake-or-Real Challenge, participants work in teams to see how many given news stories they can correctly label as real or fake AND explain how they know, using one of the E.S.C.A.P.E. Junk News tools. Story examples range from BeyoncÃ© to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The class — offered virtually as well as on-site — complements free media literacy resources on NewseumED.org that help students understand their roles as both media consumers and contributors. Among them: two downloadable posters, “Is This Story Share-Worthy?” and “E.S.C.A.P.E. Junk News.”
The “Fighting Fake News” class is one of 17 free classes offered at the Newseum that
focus on history, media literacy and civics, and are rooted in the First Amendment. The NewseumED website can help you quickly find the right combination of classes, exhibits, sample itineraries and gallery guides to engage your students, meet your learning goals and efficiently move through our seven-floor museum on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Once your visit to Washington is over, NewseumED is still pertinent. The website offers post-visit lessons, as well as 1,000-plus historic newspapers and artifacts, videos, lesson plans and more to bring the Newseum back to your classroom.