Break the Fake: What’s real online? Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 3-5

Duration: 45 minutes plus time for the assessment/evaluation task

Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts

This lesson plan is part of the Break the Fake project. This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

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


In this lesson, students are introduced to the challenges of identifying what is real and what is fake online. After learning some simple steps to verify online information they create a poster that communicates the importance of questioning and double-checking online content.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Learn simple steps for verifying online information
  • Practice verifying online information
  • Understand media literacy key concepts:
    • Media are constructions
    • Each medium is a unique aesthetic form
  • Understand digital literacy key concepts:
    • Digital media are networked
    • Digital media are shareable and persistent
    • Interactions through digital media can have a real impact
    • Digital media experiences are shaped by the tools we use
  • Create a media text

Download the Real or Fake? slideshow.

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

Lesson Kit: 

 Break the Fake: What’s real online?

What’s real online?

This video version of the above lesson plan is designed so that teachers can present the lesson on a screen or digital whiteboard with minimal preparation. The video lesson is presented by one of MediaSmarts' media education specialists and includes opportunities for discussion, classroom activities and assessment.