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Fake News Lesson Plan

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Use this lesson to help students understand the importance of journalism in today's society. Students will watch a video lesson, discuss the importance of journalism, participate in a short online research activity, and do a fun activity highlighting fake news.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the role of journalism in contemporary society.
  • describe how to determine if something is fake news.


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


  • Begin the lesson by writing the term 'fake news' on the board, keeping in mind that this term is likely to elicit a strong immediate reaction from students. Ask students to tell their peers what they know about fake news. Write interesting or pertinent ideas on the board.
  • Start the video lesson Contemporary Journalism & Its Role in Society. If needed, a transcript of the video can be found on the video page.
  • Pause the video at 1:47. Discuss the following questions as a class, connecting the discussion back to the ideas on the board when possible:
    • What is journalism?
    • What role does journalism play in our society?
    • Is journalism a good thing? A bad thing? Why? (Ask for specific examples for this question.)
  • Resume the video and let it play to the end. Discuss the following as a class:
    • What role does the internet play in our daily news consumption?
    • What are some advantages of internet-based news? Disadvantages?
    • Where does fake news fit into all of this?
    • What responsibility do news consumers have in today's society? How can we ensure what we are reading is real?

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