Friday, 16 February 2018

How to Spot Fake News: Listening, Reading and Speaking Activities

Students discuss how to make the difference between real news and fake news, and practise their speaking, reading and listening skills.

Following the lessons on Fake News and Conspiracy Theory: Listening and Speaking Activities, I designed a series of activities to enhance students' awareness on the issue of fake news, as well as their ability to spot them.

This lesson includes a discussion, a reading/speaking activity, and a listening.

1. Discussion on fake news

After listening to the NPR podcast (see the post Fake News and Conspiracy Theory: Listening and Speaking Activities), I initiated a class discussion on the issue of fake news. Among the questions that I asked were:

  • What are fake news? 
  • What is the opposite of fake news? (facts, real news or just news)
  • How is fake news different from real news/facts/news?
  • Can you give examples of fake news?
  • Where can you find fake news?
  • Who creates fake news? Why do they exist?/What is the purpose of fake news?

Here is the worksheet:

2. Reading and speaking activities on real and fake news headlines

In order to create this worksheet, I browsed through fact-checking websites such as Snopes or on buzzfeed to find recent famous fake stories. I mixed fake news headlines with real headlines, and asked students to read and discuss every headline in order to determine whether they were fake or real. 

Here are a few fake headlines:

Click on the link below to see the worksheet

You can use the following powerpoint to present the answers to the exercise:

Fake News and Real News Answers Powerpoint

3. Listening activity

I went through some vocabulary and then showed them two videos to discuss different ways of spotting fake news. 

Here is the worksheet:

How to spot fake news worksheet

And the videos:

5 ways to spot fake news

How to spot fake news Vocabulary Listening and Writing Activity

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