This lesson package is designed to be modular, allowing teachers to choose activities that are most relevant to their students. The lesson includes: an opening “minds on” activity that introduces essential concepts of election-related misinformation, helps students retrieve prior knowledge, and shows the relevance of the topic;  several activities which teachers can choose from based on the needs and context of their classes; a closing activity that introduces students to different strategies for verifying election-related information, including the idea of turning to a best single source (in this case, Elections BC). They then learn and practice engaging in active citizenship by responding to election-related disinformation.

Level: Grades 7-9

About the the Author: Mathew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts

Duration: 1 1/2 to 2 hours, plus time for the assessment task

This lesson was produced with the financial support of Digital Public Square.

November 21st marks World Television Day, as chosen by the United Nations in 1996. Naturally, my first reaction is to want to celebrate this day – I love television. TV has been a big part of our lives for a long time, but it has changed a lot since my children (and maybe even yours) were younger. It’s certainly changed since I was a kid.

In this lesson, students learn about the ways in which news coverage of an event or issue can be biased, focusing on the aspects of the medium and industry that can lead to bias. They read an article that examines the coverage of mental illness in the news and then participate in an interactive activity that lets them compose their own article. Finally, students find and analyze a recent news story on a mental health topic and write a letter either praising or critiquing it.

In this lesson students explore the commercial and ethical issues surrounding the reporting of crime in televised newscasts.

Level: Grade K to 3

About the Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts.

Duration: 10-15 minutes per activity

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & ENGAGE: A Digital Media Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.

Studies have shown that communicating the scientific consensus on a topic can be a helpful strategy in the fight against misinformation. For example, a 2015 study found that “emphasizing the medical consensus about (childhood) vaccine safety is likely to be an effective pro-vaccine message.”

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more clear than ever that dealing with the misinformation surrounding COVID-19 requires us to come at it from every possible angle. We have needed trusted voices to provide strong, clear and sharable counter-messaging on social media.

Lynn JataniaAn interesting thing happened the other day. My husband was talking about some recent political events in the United States, and my kids and I didn’t know what he was talking about.


Photo of Lynn JataniaWe’re living in a strange and uncertain time. Already, as parents, we’re feeling our way to the right set of rules and guidelines for screens and social media. But now that we’re facing an extended time of quarantine and social distancing, the rules are bending and changing every day.