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El Paso Community College
Library Research Guides

EPCC Summer Program 2020- Evaluating Online Sources

Target audience: ages 8 through 13. Dates: June 8-26, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 3-4pm

Lesson 5: Evaluating News

Lesson 5: Evaluating News

A few main concepts covered:

  • Fake News Taxonomies
  • Bias
  • Fact-Checking
  • The SIFT Method

Essential Question: How do you evaluate news?

Guiding Questions: What is “fake news”? What are the types of fake news? How can I evaluate news? What does the research say about the way students and other people consume and share information, especially fake news?



Note: To address college readiness, several state and national standards have been selected, emphasizing related skills and concepts. However, while this lesson touches on several of these, not all of these will be assessed here.

Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL). Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.


Frame(s): Authority Is Constructed and Contextual; Information Creation as a Process;

Information Has Value; Research as Inquiry; Scholarship as Conversation; Searching as Strategic Exploration

Knowledge Practices: explore the concept of authority; assess info product's fit to your info. need; be aware of how info. is published/make informed online choices; formulate questions for research...; identify contribution of specific authors/info sources; determine scope of info-seeking task

Dispositions:  keep an open mind when evaluating info,; assess info product's fit to your info. need; accept ambiguity/value of info. creation expressed in emerging formats or modes; respect the original ideas of others/see yourself as a contributor to the info. marketplace; research as exploration; research as as ongoing conversation; exhibit mental flexibility and creativity

American Association for School Librarians (AASL). National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries (AASL Standards)  


Domain(s): Think, Create, Share, and Grow

Shared Foundation(s): Inquire; Include

Think (1. Formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic. 2. Adopting a discerning stance toward points of view and opinions expressed in information resources and learning products. Etc.); Create (1. Using evidence to investigate questions. 2. Evaluating a variety of perspectives during learning activities.); Share (1. Interacting with content presented by others. 1. Engaging in informed conversation and

active debate. Etc.); Grow (1. Continually seeking knowledge. 2. Demonstrating interest in other perspectives during learning activities. Etc.).

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Standards for Students and Educators


ISTE for Students: Knowledge Constructor

Students: 3a. plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits; 3b. Students evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources; 3c. evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources; 3d. Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.

Texas School Library Standards

Strand 1: Information Literacy. 1.1.0 Learners and educators use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose; they also access and evaluate print and digital resources for their inquiry needs, academic needs, and/or personal needs; 1.1.2 Locate information • Evaluate information • Effectively use information such as state digital resources, open educational resources, and print resources; 1.2.4 show evidence of the ability to evaluate and validate information for: • Authority • Bias • Credibility • Currency • Relevance


Strand 2: Inquiry2.3.0 The school library program offers opportunities for learners to explore real world problems by interacting with relevant information in a variety of formats; 2.3.1 Inquiry projects are based on real world issues and problems; 2.3.3 Inquiry projects include the opportunity to: • Consider diverse points of view, • Use critical thinking skills, • Make informed judgments

Lesson Objectives/What am I learning? The information literate student…

  • formulates questions about authors’ point of view, authority, accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources


Learning Outcomes/Why did I learn this? [Demonstration of Learning]

  • At the end of this lesson, my students will be able to evaluate news by using a method.

Lesson Cycle

Part 1. Engagement: Real World Problems

Teaching Strategy/Instructional Procedure: Conversing 

Learning Strategy/ Procedure: share out

Instructions: Think about why we need reliable information. Can you think of an instance where “bad” information led to a bad result?  



Part 2. Direct instruction: Modeling searches and fact-checking  

I do: I introduce the WWWDOT method. I look at web resources that have sponsored content, satirical news items, and ambiguous authority. I think aloud and ask myself questions as I go through these to model the concept of fact-checking. Introduces concepts of authority, credibility, currency, relevance, and so on.

We do: You will look in a website the Librarian has chosen and you use the WWWDOT method to analyze it.

Teaching Strategy/Instructional Procedure: Conversing 

Learning Strategy/ Procedure: the WWWDOT method

Instructions: Use the WWWDOT (who wrote it, why it was written, when it was written, does it help meet my needs, organization of the site, and to-do list for the future) handout to explore a web page and decide how credible and authoritative it is.




Part 3. Guided Practice:

Elaboration: You do- Complete the Website Analysis activity.



Part 4. (Individual / Independent Practice): Work on your homework assignment.



Part 5. Evaluation: Closing/Demonstration of Learning

Ask for help, or feedback. The librarian can review concepts that are unclear. Share how well the evaluation method is working for you, and suggest alternatives or problems.




Homework: Now that you have a method to evaluate sources, start searching for information on your topic and use an evaluation method on it.

Essential Question: How do you evaluate and gather information?  

Guiding Questions: How do you know someone is the authority on something? How can you trust information online? What are some ways to distinguish types of web pages?




"Lesson Plan Worksheet" borrowed (and adapted) from Colorado State University, at, and, Instructional Resources, at

- by Adrian M. Spring, 2020

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