“Fake news” has quickly emerged as one of 2017’s trending topics. Even those who paid little attention to politics in recent months have likely encountered discussions about fake news—what it is, what it isn’t, who it is, and what aspects are fake. In an age of greatly expanded access to information, when articles supporting any viewpoint are readily available, how do educators ensure that their students become news-literate citizens of the twenty-first century?
The Common Core standards for ELA, Science, and Social Studies/History all emphasize the critical exploration of sources, including consideration of bias, point of view, evidence, and facts presented, as well as strategies and techniques used for delivery—moreover, these are essential aspects in working with primary sources and non-fiction texts. For ELs, learning to critically examine non-fiction and primary sources can pose a challenge; fortunately, there are now excellent lesson plans available to assist all students in becoming news-literate.
For a look at how students can evaluate sources and bias, check out this sample lesson from the New York Times.
Or, for further discussion on this important topic, take a look at this article by Larry Ferlazzo, with many links to additional resources and lessons.