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How can we get our students to read the news more critically?

Top Resources for National News Literacy Week

January 21, 2022

Top Resources for National News Literacy Week

During National News Literacy Week, how can we focus on ensuring students are responsible media consumers when online and offline?


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The world has a problem it can’t seem to shake. 

Breaking news, being “in the know,” or just discerning between what’s fake or real are all of paramount importance to the controversial world of contemporary journalism. The United States, especially, has seen a hyper-intensification of partisanship over the past decade due to partisan news outlets cleaving people into two very different realms of reality.

So, how can educators help students and their communities navigate the complex web of churning news cycles to better identify what is real, what is fake, what is meant to mislead, and what is meant to inform?

As we head into an already controversial midterm election year rife with partisanship, disinformation and misinformation, news literacy and critical thinking for our students has never been more important. National News Literacy Week, which is Jan. 24-28 and is sponsored by the News Literacy Project, “underscores the vital role of news literacy in a democracy and provides audiences with the knowledge, tools and abilities to become more news-literate.” In celebration of news and media literacy this year, we’ve selected this list of Share My Lesson partner lessons, activities, and on-demand webinars to help navigate your journey with students to identify and support credible journalism.

man with coded background

What Is the Difference Between Mis- and Disinformation? | PBS NewsHour Classroom

This lesson plan helps students distinguish between misinformation and disinformation by creating connections between their own lives and how misinformation spreads. Students will evaluate information and analyze how messages are supported and have the option to create a public service announcement and fact-check information using nonpartisan organizations.


Access this lesson plan here.
girl surrounded by disinformation

Empowering Girls in Digital Literacy, Disinformation, and Election Security | GirlSecurity

This comprehensive guide for girls is intended to provide a balance of learning and project-based content to empower girls with digital literacy tools required to identify disinformation and understand its impacts on elections and vulnerable segments of society. It includes videos, individual or group activities, and reflection. It also includes a certificate of completion.


Access this guide here.
dark money poster

Dark Money: Media Literacy for Elections, Blueshift Education Inc.

Students examine a case study about how corporate donations to political campaigns influence elections. Using film clips, students will increase their media analysis skills, knowledge of campaign finance, and why an informed citizenry equipped with critical thinking skills is necessary for a healthy democracy.


Access this lesson plan here.
people voting

Model Diplomacy Pop-Up Case: Election Security | World 101, Council on Foreign Relations

With this activity, students roleplay as members of the National Security Council and consider policy solutions for combating disinformation on social media as well as create a public awareness and news literacy campaign to educate voters.


Access this activity here.
nazi propaganda poster

Analyzing Propaganda and Teaching Media Literacy: The Holocaust as a Case Study | Echoes & Reflections

This webinar explores the events of the Holocaust through the lens of media by examining propaganda deployed by the Nazis to discriminate against Jews and other minorities. Educators will gain the tools to facilitate classroom discussions on the role and impact of Nazi propaganda during the Holocaust and support their students in critically analyzing media in today’s world.


Register for this on-demand webinar here.
students looking into cameras

Evaluating Accountability in Journalism and Education | Pulitzer Center

Use this resource in your classroom to teach about accountability in journalism using an episode of “The Weekly” from the New York Times. Students learn about the reporting process for investigative journalism and discuss to whom journalists should be accountable.


Access this resource here.
outfoxed poster

Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism | Brave New Educators

This detailed lesson guide uses a documentary film to analyze how some news brands’ ideas of what is "fair and balanced” distort the truth in service to blatantly biased agendas that contribute to the polarization of American society.


Access this lesson guide here.
question boxes with a blue background

Disinformation vs. Misinformation: The Dangers of Spreading False News | ADL Education 

What is the difference between disinformation and misinformation? This blog aims to help you and your students know the dangers of spreading false information.


Read this blog here.

Bonus Resource

Woman surrounded by misinformation

Why Does Misinformation Spread? | C-SPAN

This lesson focuses on the spread of misinformation and disinformation in society. By looking at psychological factors, the current media environment and people’s news literacy skills, students will explore why false information is believed and spreads. Students will be able to explain why this misinformation spreads and develop ways to address it.


Access this lesson here.
reading between the lines

News Literacy: Reading Between the Frames, Young Minds Inspired

Help students discover how filmmakers communicate a point of view with this bilingual study guide presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Students examine the role that various media play in their lives, explore the techniques that filmmakers use to shape our viewing experience, weigh the impact of bias and stereotyping on our reactions to a film, and team up to plan a film of their own.


Access this lesson plan here.
social dilemma poster

Teaching "The Social Dilemma": Taking Back Control from Tech | Center for Humane Technology

This webinar on the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma discusses the ways in which technology companies use our psychology against us, and how this race for human attention impacts everything from individual mental health to the spread of misinformation. Learn how young people who use and build technology differently are ushering in a new era of humane technology and being mindful of the ethics of consumer tech.

Register for this on-demand webinar here.

Bonus Resource

How do you plan to teach news literacy during a midterm election year? Let us know in the comments below, and share some of your favorite resources.

Andy Kratochvil

Andy Kratochvil is an SML team member who loves hiking, video games, scary books, Mexican food, and finding great content for the Share My Lesson community.He studied political science and French at California State University, Fullerton and received his Master’s in International Affairs from Americ


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