Twinkl Education Blog
14 Mar '17

Fake news- how can we help our children recognise this?

There has been a lot about fake news recently. Social media can fuel this as so many stories can be shared at the touch of a button spreading across the globe in next to no time.

This recent article, highlighted how tricky children find it to recognise fake news. Children have so much access to the internet today that it is very easy to come across fake news stories, many of which can seem highly plausible. The very fact they are on the internet leads many children (and sometimes adults) to take them at face value, to share them with their friends...and so on.

So, how can we help children to deal with this? Our recent #TwinklTeach chat came up with some interesting ideas (see https://storify.com/twinklresources/recognising-fake-news).

Here are some top tips to help children (and their parents and teachers) know if they are reading genuine articles:

  • Can you find the story somewhere else (use child friendly search engines such as primarysafesearch, or ask an adult)
  • Check the site- is it full of adverts (clickbait), poor grammar?
  • Check where the photos come from- a quick search on Google can often help
  • Have conversations at home about which sites can be trusted for the news - use sites that you are familiar with.
  • In schools, there are often (usually) filters in place. All home providers have parental settings which can be help keep children safe online
  • Consider where and when children access the internet. We have lots of helpful resources to teach safety online and for fake news in particular.
  • If a site worries you, be sure to report it (thinkuknow, ceop)

The internet is a wonderful tool- how did we all manage before we could tap our questions in and have vast amounts of information at our fingertips within a matter of seconds? But we need to teach children how to make best use of it and how to spot the rogue stories.  Here at Twinkl, we have a wide range of internet safety posters and resources and special "fake news" resources. Our Twitter and Facebook pages can offer support and guidance. 

As adults, we can often trust our instincts when it comes to fake news. It is our responsibility to teach children how to use the internet to search safely and how to check out stories BEFORE they share them. 

* NEW * KS2 What Is Fake News? Resource Pack. Download here.

What is Fake News? Lesson Pack

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