My Introduction

2017 Outback Bowl attendees enjoy the Gators win.

It’s generally agreed upon that an educated populace is the key to a healthy democracy,
which is one of the reasons many Americas are anxious about how modern media is
transmitting credible information, and how American voters are consuming all types of
information, whether it’s accurate or not.
In a way, high school students are already veterans in the war against all types of
misinformation—for at least a couple years, their social media feed has been likely been
full of fake news, unchecked gossip, and manipulative advertisements. But some of
them might be accustomed to it, and therefore numb to it, which leaves them in a
tremendously vulnerable position as a consumer. Other students think they can
identify a “sketchy” website or a fake news story, but unless they can articulate the
various elements of a credible (or incredible) news sources, they don’t actually have
the critical thinking tools with which to defend themselves. Soon, these kids will be
making major decisions—voting, choosing a college, buying a car—and cannot afford to
go out into the world without a proper skill set.
This unit delivers a comprehensive list of “media literacy” terms, and corresponding
questions to ask when confronting a news article. We’ve taken special care to make the
list as complete as possible, without overwhelming your students (or you!). We’ve
even added a relevant scorecard to make it easier—and fun—for your students to
critically analyze any news article. After doing some practice exercises provided, your
students will begin to internalize their habits of questioning the source, and can

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