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Believe It or Not?

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Students understand why media literacy is important and are able to evaluate the reliability of a range of information sources.

This unit introduces students to the purpose and practice of media literacy. It includes pre- and post-visit activities designed to bracket the Believe It or Not? EDClass, plus a class-specific Newseum gallery guide. (The activities can also be done independent of a visit to the Newseum.) Through these experiences, students come to understand why not all information is trustworthy and how to differentiate the good from the bad. They practice using a set of tools – the consumer’s questions – to deconstruct and evaluate information sources.

OBJECTIVE: Students understand why media literacy is important and are able to evaluate the reliability of a range of information sources.

TARGET AUDIENCE: Middle and high school


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Overview PDF DOC
Worksheets PDF DOC
Extensions PDF DOC
Full Packet PDF DOC

To request a large print or Braille version, call 202.292.6650.


  • Why is media literacy important?
  • How can I judge the reliability of information?
  • What is the role of the free press in our society?
  • What is our role as news consumers?


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  • Media literacy
  • The role of the free press in our daily lives
  • Evaluating a variety of sources of information
  • Mass communications
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  1. Before Your Visit
    • When the News Media Make Mistakes: By exploring corrections, students learn why the news media make mistakes and what happens.
  2. During Your Visit
    • NewseumED Class: Believe It or Not?: This introduction to media literacy gives students a set of tools they can use to evaluate sources online, on TV and in print.
    • Believe It or Not? Gallery Guide: Students navigate the News Corporation News History Gallery and the Bloomberg Internet, TV and Radio Gallery in the Newseum to get a better understanding of today’s media landscape
  3. After Your Visit
    • Time to Talk Back: Students go from news consumers to creators in this activity that allows them to respond to a news story or opinion piece.
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