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Media Literacy Resources

Looking for free resources on fighting fake news and developing your students' media literacy skills? Here are some highlights from our activities, lessons, case studies and guest blog posts.

  • Activity

    Weed Out Propaganda With S.E.E.D.

    A bold digital poster outlines a simple acronym — S.E.E.D. — to help students learn to spot propaganda by recognizing four of its key techniques.

  • Idea

    Missing Piece in Media Literacy: The First Amendment

    While media literacy teaches students how to analyze, evaluate and even make their own content, it often fails to instill an understanding of why these skills are so important and necessary in the first place. At NewseumED, we marry the analytical aspects – such as separating fact from fiction and identifying bias – with active free expression and productive social engagement.

  • Activity

    E.S.C.A.P.E. Junk News

    Students learn a handy acronym to help them remember six key concepts for evaluating information, then test the concepts in teams.

  • Student Class

    Fighting Fake News: How to Outsmart Trolls and Troublemakers

    Can your students navigate the flurry of fake news and strike a balance between being a cynic and a sucker? In this class, students dive into the complexity of digital citizenship, including their active role in the flow of information. They’ll examine case studies that bring to life the challenges of today’s media landscape and leave with easy-to-implement strategies for staying a step ahead of online tricksters and trolls – and help combat the fake news cycle.

  • Activity

    Evidence: Do the Facts Hold Up?

    Students dig into an article to determine whether they can trust the information by verifying the evidence it presents.

  • Activity

    Source: Can I Trust the Creator?

    Students dig into an article to determine whether they can trust the story by investigating its producers and the sources within.

  • Activity

    The Fundamentals of News

    Students learn why news matters and how to distinguish between the different media-related terms they might hear being thrown around.

  • Video Blog

    The Media Literacy Maven

    Join a member of our Education staff on Facebook Live as she provides tips and tricks on how to navigate the murky waters of fake and misleading news. View past episodes here.

  • Lesson

    Civil Rights: Reporting Then

    See how advocates for — and against — change in the civil rights movement leveraged the five freedoms of the First Amendment to make their voices heard and achieve their goals.

  • Guest Blog

    A Case Study of Brexit Vote Coverage

    This lesson plan lets students examine news decisions in the coverage of the historic vote in June 2016 and plot how they would have covered it for a fictional newspaper.

  • Lesson

    The Tools to Persuade

    Students use examples from the pro- and anti-suffrage movements to dissect the persuasive techniques used to shape public opinion then and now.

  • Activity

    Evaluating Election Ads

    In this activity, students examine some of the techniques political campaigns use in ads to persuade voters.

  • Case Study

    Controlling the Campaign Narrative

    As the election season heats up, the candidates, their political parties, special interest groups and news outlets compete to get heard. The public is left to navigate conflicting messages and separate real news from noise.

  • Case Study

    Harnessing the Political Power of Words

    Presidential candidates know that it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. Advisers and speechwriters shape their statements for maximum effect.

  • Activity

    Use ‘War of the Worlds’ to Teach Media Literacy

    This classroom activity features the classic 1938 “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast, which will help your students focus on their role as media consumers and understand that the problem of "fake news" is not entirely new.

  • Case Study

    Watergate: ‘Deep Throat’ and Anonymous Sources

    Decades after the Watergate scandal, Mark Felt publicly revealed that he was the mysterious "Deep Throat” who guided Post reporters in their investigation. We offer a case study that examines the reliance on a source who insists on not being identified.

  • Case Studies

    How Much Is Too Much?

    The murder of a TV news team raises important ethical questions. To help your students explore issues about content use and sources during a tragedy, NewseumED offers two related classroom-ready case studies.

  • Activity

    Media Ethics: Scenarios

    This activity helps students apply journalism standards of accuracy, fairness and clarity in deciding how to report the news.

  • Activity

    Photo Ethics: The Breakfast Rule

    This case study debates what types of news photographs are appropriate to publish as journalists strive to be fair, accurate and clear.

  • Activity

    Choose the News: My Local News

    Students learn how to conduct historical and oral research in their communities to discover how the news reflects the readership’s interests.

  • Activity

    Photo Ethics: Diversity

    This case study explores a photojournalist’s ethical duty to be fair, accurate and clear.

  • Case Study

    Going for the Jugular

    It happens sooner or later in every presidential race: attack ads drown out the promises of positive campaigns. Do these dark battles have any value?

  • Case Study

    Staging Spectacles to Win Votes

    Running for president is a lot like putting on a show. As candidates tour across the country, they stage carefully choreographed events in hopes of impressing voters.

  • Case Study

    Unabomber: Giving a Killer a Voice

    As our FBI exhibit reopens with a focus on fighting crime in the age of terror, we offer a case study that explores the ethics of publishing the Unabomber’s manifesto.

  • Lesson

    Civil Rights: Reporting Out

    Students prepare for a lifelong practice of civic engagement by identifying, analyzing and reporting about a contemporary civil rights issue.

  • Activity

    ‘Sources’ Video Lesson

    Five journalists look at the use of anonymous sources and the impact they have on the public’s perception of the news media.

  • Guest Blog

    Reading Headlines: Recognizing Media Influence

    A summer institute alum provides a lesson designed to help students think about how we read news, how that news influences our world view, and how to recognize bias both in ourselves and in the media.

EDTools

Incorporate NewseumED resources in your classroom or enrich your research project with rare, hi-res primary sources.

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Request a class or workshop to get personalized instruction from Newseum Education staff.

EDCollections

Dive into specially curated collections of primary sources and lessons on civil rights, women's suffrage and more.

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