Spot the house hippos – Printable activity sheet  Lesson Plan

This printable activity sheet introduces basic media literacy skills and concepts and is suitable for use in homes, schools and libraries. It can be completed independently, but children will learn more if you discuss the activity with them. Younger children may need help reading the instructions and completing the activity. 

This activity is followed by a list of other MediaSmarts resources that can be used to extend the learning. 

Spot the house hippos (ages 8-13) 

For more than 20 years, house hippos have been helping teach kids to think critically about media. In this activity, five of them are hiding in a very messy room. Kids can turn the page to make sure they spotted them all and also learn five ways to verify anything they’ve seen online. 

Supporting resources 

Tip sheet: Break the Fake: How to tell what’s true online 

Here are four quick and easy steps to find out the truth and share good information. Sometimes you only have to do one of these things, and most steps take less than a minute.    

Lesson: Break the Fake: What’s real online? (grades 3-5) 

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. 

Lesson: Break the Fake: Verifying information online (grades 6-9) 

In this lesson, students participate in a workshop that teaches them four quick, easy steps to verify online information. After practicing these four steps they create a public service announcement aimed at teaching one of these steps and spreading the message that it is necessary for everyone to fact-check information we see online every time we are going to share it or act on it. 

Video: House Hippo 2.0 

The hippos are back to remind us that in today's digital world, critical thinking is more important than ever. 

Video: Four ways to tell if something is true online 

Here are four steps you can take to determine whether a post or a story is true or not true. 

Video: Reality Check: Authentication 101 

Because anyone can create and share internet content, you need to take extra steps to ensure what you find is accurate. Here are a few tips to help you separate good information from bad.