Social media algorithms often create "news bubbles" that block exposure to opposing points of view. Here you’ll get concrete advice from leading media experts on how to break free and get fully informed. Use this lesson plan and accompanying video on Decoding Media Bias (also found in the Support Materials), authored by social studies educator Liz Ramos. Students will look at several different media websites and discuss any bias found on these sites.
Ever have an argument with someone, and no matter how many facts you provide, you just can’t get that person to see it your way? One big reason for this is cognitive bias, which is a limitation in our thinking that can cause flaws in our judgment. Confirmation bias is a specific type of cognitive bias that motivates us to seek out the information we already believe and ignore or minimize facts that threaten what we believe. Studies show that when people are presented with facts that contradict what they believe, the parts of the brain that control reason and rationality go inactive. But, the parts of the brain that process emotion light up like the Fourth of July. Have your students watch the video and respond to the question in KQED Learn. This video has a learning activity in the Support Materials section.
This interactive lesson, based on the series Breaking Views, frames the controversial issues of fake news and trust in the media with the historical context of yellow journalism and sensationalist reporting. In addition to learning more about how fake news has evolved over the years, students will learn strategies for improving their media literacy and will be able to identify both credible and non-credible news sources. After they complete the lesson students will be better prepared to critically analyze media using the Five Key Questions of media literacy, which will become a point of enduring understanding that young people need in order to be better 21st-century digital citizens in an era saturated by information.
What is “fake” news? How do we know it’s false? Use these resources from Common Sense Education to help students investigate the way information is presented so that they can analyze what they read and see on the Web.