The Hero Project: Authenticating Online Information Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 4-8

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

Note: This lesson is based on the article "Teaching Internet Literacy Strategies: The Hero Inquiry Project," by Maya Eagleton, Kathleen Guinee and Karen Langlais. Adapted with permission.

Duration: 2-3 hours plus presentation time (may be completed in shorter segments)

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


Students are introduced to Internet search skills through researching a personal hero. By focusing on the early parts of the research process, students learn to select well-defined topics, ask relevant research questions and select effective keywords. Students then present the information they have found to their classmates in the form of a media product.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • identify key steps in searching for information
  • evaluate their prior knowledge about search techniques
  • learn to identify strong and weak keywords
  • practice effective search techniques
  • research a topic in detail
  • organize research and present their findings to the class
  • create a media product

Home and School Connection

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) are available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.