Your Name and Title: Sarah FitzHenry, K-8 Librarian

Library, School, or Organization Name: St. Anne’s-Belfield School

Co-Presenter Name(s): Kim Wilkens, K-8 Computer Science Coordinator

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Charlottesville, VA

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): Librarians, teachers, students

Short Session Description (one line): Foiling Fake News with Fourth Graders

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

Students, teachers, anyone connected to the internet is already running on information overload and now fake news has us all questioning our most trusted sources. So how can we best prepare students to grow to become independent online consumers in this snap-judgement world of social media link-sharing?

Our idea was to approach the subject of fake news with students before they reached the age of browsing social media independently with their cell phones and laptops (typically around fifth or sixth grade) making them confident and educated digital users from the start.

As a school library media specialist and a computer science coordinator, we decided to work together to combine traditional information literacy competencies with innovative digital literacy skills to create a modern, relevant, and engaging unit called Foiling Fake News. The plan was to spend three weeks with fourth grade students, building off of their previously mastered website verification skills and putting these skills into the new context of online current event reporting: blogs, news and fact-checking websites, satirical news sources, and more. The unit spread over three one-hour classes in the school’s media lab.

We created a teaching kit that we want to share and get feedback on as a companion to our article, Supremo’s Cause Tidal Waves—True or False? Our news literacy program challenges fourth graders to find out (School Library Journal).

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session: Teaching Kit @

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Sounds intriguing!



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