Avoiding the Minefields of Fake News and Hoaxes: Teaching Students how to be Critical Thinkers

Vicky Natland, History, Garinger High

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


Social media is a huge part of the lives of the majority of my students and it has both positives and negatives.  One particular aspect that is fraught with both positives and negatives is the how quickly news events can spread. Students will often believe what they read without verifying the source. The main objective of this unit is for students to learn to critically analyze sources before accepting them as truth. The brainwashing of the Hitler Youth will be used to both capture the students’ attention and to serve as a cautionary tale as to what happens when only a singular source is being used. There will also be connections made between the propaganda used during World War II to the current fake news stories that are all over the internet today are attempting to influence politics through disinformation.