Middle and high-school students are introduced to fact-checking with this lesson, which includes background information on fact-checking, an introductory quiz, discussion questions, and activities. Students research claims/facts at Politifact or Factcheck.org. The lesson emphasizes the complexity of fact-checking by explaining the importance of context in evaluating the statements.
This fact-checking site is a great place for you and your students to explore how fact-checking works. Politifact checks claims made by "elected officials, candidates, leaders of political parties, and political activists." Claims are rated on a six-category scale, from "True" all the way to "Pants on Fire."
You can read the transcript of an #EdShift chat on how to fact-check political claims, and how to help students learn to do it, as well. There are some good tips here on how to approach fact-checking with your students.
You might have heard about the controversy when a Florida high school parent claimed that his child had been made to recite Islamic prayers and make prayer rugs as part of religious indoctrination into Islam. This article explores the claims and concludes that they were "mostly false," and explains why. I'm linking to this one because it pertains to a high school classroom, and will be relevant to your students.
This lesson from PBS Newshour is designed to help students analyze how the presidential campaigns of 2016 use social media. A "social media viewing guide" handout is given to the students, and students recreate social media streams (and responses to them) on index cards. The impact of fact-checking and crowdfunding is also covered in this lesson.
A researcher from the News Literacy Project explains the need for students to learn to evaluate and analyze the news they encounter from social media, blogs, and other sources. Three brief lesson plans are included, as well as links to studies and online examples of news literacy.
Peter Adams, Vice-President of the News Literacy Project, offers ideas for how to teach today's students news literacy. Suggestions include working with current events and assigning fact-checking exercises regularly.
Researchers Diana E. Hess and Paula McAvoy discuss their new book, The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education, in this NPR interview. Based on their findings, they believe that politics does have a place in the classroom. They offer ideas and general approaches to bringing politics into the classroom, even in today's polarized political climate.
BloomBoard Asks:Has fact-checking of political candidates resulted in increased engagement (through class discussion or written responses) in your classroom? Which resources or sites were the most useful to your students?