Made by Sarah Morris and the NewsFrames team. Released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Lesson 3 of 3 in the NewsFrames Curriculum Kit
This lesson will take a deeper dive into both framing and searching by introducing students to techniques they can use to evaluate the quality of information they encounter.
Mozilla Web Literacy Skills
21st Century Skills
Internet Health Outcomes
- Learners will discuss factors that contribute to information quality
- Learners will evaluate and analyze sources to determine accuracy and framing techniques
- Learners will synthesize sources to present and share information on a topic
- Learners will develop skills in fact checking and in identifying quality fact checking from others
- Teens and undergraduate students
In this lesson, learners will:
- Discuss criteria for evaluating information for credibility and relevance
- Discuss criteria for evaluating frames in media
- Synthesize their research and evaluate their sources
- Reflect on their learning
Preparation for Instructors
- Review, as needed, NewsFrames materials and Media Cloud tools and help materials.
- Review information about NewsFrames article guidelines and investigation methods.
- To further explore concepts of evaluating information and fact checking sources with your students, you can use Web Literacy for Student Fact Checkers by Mike Caulfield, which outlines different strategies to help stuents become savvier and more efficient at evaluating information they encounter online.
- For a standardized definition of credibility and associated terms, check out this list of useful definitions from the Credibility Coalition.
Activity Facilitation Tips
- You can divide this lesson into smaller chunks to be completed over a series of class sessions.
Lesson Introduction15 minutes
Opening Activity: Evaluation Exercise
- Use one of the sample articles from Lesson 1.
- Have students review the article and work together in small groups to develop criteria that they would use the evaluate the article for both credibility and relevance (i.e. would this article be useful in a research paper?).
- Have groups share out some of their criteria.
Opening Discussion and Lecture
We’ve been taking a deeper dive into media by asking questions, paying attention to frames and to how media is constructed, presented, shaped, and received. We’ll now be pulling these strands together and look at how we can evaluate media for credibility as well as framing and how we can synthesize this analysis together and share our findings with others.
Discuss evaluating information, evaluating frames (for instance, some frames might be problematic), and evaluating information needs and how they can be interconnected
- We can evaluate information for a variety of purposes.
- Evaluating information for credibility can involved looking at the author and publisher, fact checking claims, and checking sources.
- Evaluating information needs can be a way for you to understand your own purpose in finding and using information (such as to support your side in a debate, to write a research paper that makes a certain claim, or to answer a question). This can also be a way to help you understand whether or not the information you found is going to be useful to you.
- Evaluating frames can be a way to take a broader look at an article and understand how it is presented and the effect that presentation has on people’s understanding.
Lesson Activity60 minutes
Fact Checking Activity Instructions
- Give students a copy of the Credibility Coalition Check Annotation Guide, developed by Jonathan Shiler and Diana Jeong Ro in concert with the Credibility Coalition.
- Divide students into small groups.
- Have them work through the Annotation Guide questions and explore whether or not a sample article is credible or not.
- See more on the Credibility Coalition Annotation efforts at this CredCo Dataset and at Content Credibility Indicators Vocabulary.
- You can use this article on vaccines, which has questionable credibility. Or you can select one of the articles from Lesson 1 or an article or your own choosing.
- Have students share their observations.
- You can repeat this activity multiple times with different articles during different class times.
Annotated Bibliography Activity Instructions
- Students will select 2-3 articles from their searches in the Media Cloud environment and will evaluate those articles in three areas: information quality and credibility, their own information needs, and framing.
- Have students use the Annotated Bibliography Activity Worksheet to complete this activity.
- Have students work in small peer review groups so they can share progress, ask questions, and get feedback as they work.
Planning a NewsFrames Article
- As a closing activity, review NewsFrames article guidelines and investigation methods and have students brainstorm how they could turn their search and research into a piece.
Reflection, Assessment, and Next Steps
Reflection questions for learners
- What are some criteria you can use to evaluate an article?
- What are topics or approaches you'd be interested in turning into a NewsFrames style article?
Now that you and your learners are more familiar with the tools and concepts that underpin NewsFrames, you might be interested in continuing your explorations.
- As a next step, consider having your students write their own story on the topics they researched using NewsFrames checklists. See How to Start Your NewsFrames Exploration for an overview of the writing process and visit Getting Started with Investigation Methods to see an overview of the type of articles produced on the NewsFrames platforms.
- Consider having your students select an article type they want to write, or consider having your students complete multiple writing exercises using NewsFrames article types as a starting point.
- You can also visit the Credibility Coalition to see opportunities for fact checking projects that you and your students can get involved with in the future.
- Finally, for more lesons and activities on news and media literacy, visit the Mission:Information Teaching Kit.