Reality Check: Authentication 101 Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 9 to 12
About the Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts
Duration: 1 ½ to 2 hours, plus time for the assessment/evaluation activity

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


In this lesson, students consider the different factors that make online sources reliable or unreliable. They then learn quick steps they can take to gauge an online source’s reliability and practice these steps by playing an interactive online game. Finally, students create a media product to teach other students how to do one of the tactics they’ve learned.

This lesson is part of the Reality Check lesson series.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • Understand aspects of digital media that make verification challenging
  • Learn and practice authentication tools
  • Develop online authentication as a habit
  • Create a media text

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

Lesson Kit