Have Your Students Take the Fake News Challenge

Sep 14, 2017

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 has launched a new 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 Lib-style activity, and compose click-bait headlines designed to entertain or to sell something. Lastly, in a 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 Beyoncé to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The class, offered virtually as well as on-site, complements a host of free media literacy resources on NewseumED.org that help students understand their roles as both media consumers and contributors. Among them are 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 the seven-floor Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Once your visit to Washington, D.C., 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.

Courtesy of the Newseum. For more information or to book a field trip, visit newseumED.org, call 202.292.6650 or e-mail [email protected]. Students get a discounted admission rate, and one chaperone is free per 10 students.