Author:
Lesley James
Subject:
Information Science, Communication, Journalism, Electronic Technology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Interactive, Unit of Study
Level:
Middle School, High School
Tags:
Checkology, Journalism, Media Literacy, Misinformation, News Literacy, News Literacy Project, checkology, news-literacy-project, wa-dcml
License:
Creative Commons Attribution
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Text/HTML

Education Standards

News Literacy Project Website Guidance

News Literacy Project Website Guidance

Overview

This guide walks you through the Checkology virtual classroom for grades 6-12 from the News Literacy Project. Students can move at their own pace through a wide variety of lessons that mostly focus on journalism and news literacy, but also cover misinformation, conspiracy theories, and other relevant topics.The lessons include videos of journalists and other experts, plus visually engaging interactive activities.

Checkology | News Literacy Project

Link to website

Purpose of Website

Their stated mission: They are "a nonpartisan national education nonprofit” that “provides programs and resources for educators and the public to teach, learn and share the abilities needed to be smart, active consumers of news and information and equal and engaged participants in a democracy.”

Their activities extend beyond developing curriculum, but this guidance tool will focus on the resources that educators can put to work in their classrooms.

Site Navigation Strategy

The real star of the show is the Checkology virtual classroom, designed for grades 6-12. This is a free e-learning platform that students can move through at their own pace. After students are enrolled, teachers can monitor their progress. Activities include:

  • Lessons that walk students through new concepts and check for understanding
  • Exercises and challenges that provide additional practice with the new skills
  • “Check Center Missions” that combine multiple fact-checking skills

The lessons are “taught” by journalists and other experts in the field via videos and visually engaging interactive activities.

Most of the assessments are multiple-choice, which means students can see how they’re doing and re-do work if they want to. Some involve written responses--answer keys are provided for teacher feedback.

Each lesson comes with a Comprehensive Lesson Guide that includes everything a teacher needs to get their students going.

The News Literacy Project provides a Framework for Teaching News Literacy, a scope and sequence that provides an overview and suggestions for how to use the resources.

You can choose from several set courses that already have a series of lessons and activities attached to them. Or you can create your own course, customizing which lessons and activities you want to include.

Topics include:

Filtering News and Information

  • “InfoZones” (distinguishing between news, opinion, entertainment, advertising, propaganda, or raw information)
  • What Is News?
  • Be the Editor

Exercising Civic Freedoms

  • The First Amendment
  • Democracy’s Watchdog
  • Citizen Watchdogs
  • Press Freedoms around the World

Navigating Today’s Information Landscape

  • Branded Content
  • Introduction to Algorithms

How To Know What To Believe

  • Understanding Bias
  • Misinformation
  • Arguments & Evidence
  • Practicing Quality Journalism
  • Conspiratorial Thinking

 

In addition to Checkology, there is a resource library of lessons, activities, and quizzes, as well as infographics and posters. The lessons and activities are a good option if students aren’t able to access the Checkology platform.

These can be filtered by age level, including grade bands 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.

Additional Resources

  • Sign up for their newsletter, The Sift, for up-to-date news about misinformation.
  • Newsroom to Classroom is a program that brings real live journalists into classrooms, either virtually or in person.
  • They offer fee-based professional development and a NewsLitCamp that brings educators and journalists together.
  • They produced a feature-length documentary called “Trust Me” and have a classroom guide to accompany it.

Comments

You need to create a free account in order to enroll students in a Checkology course.

It is recommended that school districts secure a data-privacy agreement before enrolling students using their school emails. However, it is possible to enroll students without collecting any of their personal information.

Attribution and License

Attribution

Image and Mission by News Literacy Project. Used pursuant to fair use.

License

Creative Commons Attribution License logo

Except where otherwise noted, this website guidance document by Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. All logos and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Sections used under fair use doctrine (17 U.S.C. § 107) are marked.

This resource contains links to websites operated by third parties. These links are provided for your convenience only and do not constitute or imply any endorsement or monitoring by OSPI. Please confirm the license status of any third-party resources and understand their terms before use.