MISSION MONDAY: Fake News – A Historical and Contemporary Phenomenon

Fake News – A Historical and Contemporary Phenomenon Photo

Welcome to Mission Monday, a series of posts highlighting the ways North Salem students embrace the district mission of engaging in continual improvement, including questioning, defining and solving problems through critical and creative thinking. To learn more about the North Salem Mission, please click here.

The idea of “fake news” has been a prominent one on the heels of the latest presidential election, and eighth- and 10th grade English students collaborated on a project focused on identifying credible sources and fake news.

Tenth-grade honors English students worked with teachers Cynthia Sandler and Gaetano Vitiello to investigate media literacy and create two lessons about fake news and identifying credible resources with an eighth-grade audience in mind.

Students in the classes of Karyn Johnson, Theresa McCleary and Eric Pechenko met with the 10th graders in the library to learn about the two timely topics.

In preparation for the lessons, 10th graders read William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” and learned about the fake news that Brutus received and how acting on that news contributed to the assassination of Julius Caesar.

“These sophomores dug into the who, why and how about this fake news,” said Vitiello.

After dissecting the text, students continued to research fake news, its forms and purposes, as well as how to distinguish it from factual news.

The discussion challenged them to problem-solve by using research to get information about the problem, develop possible solutions and decide on a solution to implement.

“Getting valid and reliable information is essential for effective problem solving,” said Vitiello. “Both grades of students exhibited key components of our mission – critical and creative thinking, communication and collaboration, as they worked toward becoming more thoughtful and careful consumers and creators of information.”

View scenes from the collaborative lesson in the below photos.