Mixed Signals: Verifying Online Information Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 7-9

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

Duration: 60-75 minutes

This lesson plan has been made possible by the Government of Canada.

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


In this lesson, students examine two websites about unlikely animals and learn how to effectively evaluate online sources. They then create a fake website that demonstrates the misleading signals that are often mistakenly taken as signs of reliability.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Learn to distinguish between strong and weak signals of reliability online
  • Practice finding strong signals
  • Demonstrate an understanding of weak signals
  • Evaluate the reliability of an online source
  • Create a media text (website)

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