Reality Check: News You Can Use Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 9 to 12
About the Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts
Duration: 1 to 1 ½ hours, plus time to do and present the assessment/evaluation activity

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


In this lesson, students consider the meanings of the term “fake news” and learn facts about the news industry that will help them recognize legitimate sources of news. They use an educational computer game to learn how to track a news story to its original source before evaluating its reliability, then practice the same skills “in the wild” with actual news stories.

This lesson is part of the Reality Check lesson series.

Learning Outcomes:

Students will:

  • Learn the characteristics of reliable news sources
  • Learn key aspects of the news industry
  • Identify the original source of a news story
  • Practice authenticating news stories

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

Lesson Kit