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Important keywords: hoax, reliable, evaluate, verify, sensational

*In this project, you will use skills you have explored in Project Celebrity and Refining Searches.

 Image by Candra Rustyan from Pixabay 

Task 1 – Do you know much about ninjas? See what you know by taking the True or False quiz about ninjas here. How did you get on? What sorts of things did you find hard to decide if the statement was true or false? Now, go to this template, make a copy of it and respond to the questions inside the document.

Task 2 – Have a read of this article and take the quiz at the end. The quiz tests your fact or fiction telling skills using news headlines. It is a Canadian site, so some things may be new to you. Once you have taken the quiz, revisit the document from task one.

Task 3 – Now we are going to step back from facts and headlines and think about the slightly larger ‘picture’ of websites. Which are the real websites and which are the hoaxes? How would you tell?. Record your answers in your google document.

Fake news itself comes in a variety of flavors:

  • Pure fake news sites use fabricated stories to lure traffic, encourage clicks (click bait). These sites are designed to deceive you and often have sensational information.
  • Hoax sites also share false information with the intention to trick readers/viewers
  • Born digital images and edited images alter and often misrepresent visual reality

 Source: School Library Journal, by Joyce Valenza

Task 4 – Think websites you’ve visited lately for learning or news. Have a look at these resources and what they suggest as categories for checking (evaluating) websites.

Task 5 – Use this F.A.R.T template or design your own from Task 4, to go through these websites and record what you find. You are the website detective for this activity! Make sure you record what your final thoughts about the site being a hoax or not.

  • Website 1:
  • Website 2:
  • Website 3:
  • Website 4: Covid 19 site

Task 6 – Deciding whether a website is a hoax or not can be REALLY difficult. Make sure you answer the last question: Which of the above sites did you find the most difficult to make a judgment on? Now you can check your final decisions here.

Task 7 –Think about this: Although it is important to know whether a website is a hoax, isn’t it probably more important to question whether the information presented is accurate and credible?

Task 8 – ‘Skim and scan’ through information on website 1. Find claims or statements made by the author that are questionable – you have a reason to think that are not true or inaccurate. Copy and paste those claims into your google document (under ‘testing claims’). Highlight, comment, and illustrate, where you challenge the author’s information because it lacks credibility – in other words the information cannot be verified it is accurate (or you can prove its inaccurate). An example has been done for you here.

Task 9 – Plan a hoax webpage of your choice (e.g. Google drawing, slides, Miro whiteboard). Purposefully break some of theF.A.R.Trules. Share your webpage plan with a parent, family member or friend. Explain the ‘F.A.R.T’ strategy to them. Question them to see if they can identify where your website plan loses its credibility or trustworthiness.