Tracy Rains
Reading Informational Text
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
9, 10, 11, 12
  • Bias
  • Cyber Citizenship
  • Fake News
  • Literature
  • Media
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Interactive, Text/HTML, Video

    Education Standards

    Fake News: Bias in the Media

    Fake News: Bias in the Media


    The media plays an important role in how you interpret current events. The news media can use particular wording to sway public opinion. This seminar will help you build necessary skills to analyze and understand the media you consume to help you make informed decisions.


    CC.8.5.9-10.F: Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.

    CC.8.5.9-10.I Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.

    CC.1.2.11-12.D Evaluate how an author’s point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.

    CC.1.2.11-12.F Evaluate how words and phrases shape meaning and tone in texts.


    Introductory warm-up activity.

    Sometimes, people can be too quick to make judgments. Many times, we come to a conclusion before researching multiple sides of an issue.  


    • Look at this Tweet posted by the New York Times sports account. What was your initial reaction to the tweet?

    • Now, look at the New England Patriots’ official response: Response 1, Response 2. How do you feel after seeing both sides of the story?


    Explore these resources to learn about bias and fake news. You can pick and choose to read, watch, then do the activity  listed.  




    It is important to understand how bias is present in the different articles that you read. Being able to recognize bias will help you understand when an issue requires you to do to more research before forming your opinion. Read the “Detecting Bias in the Media” article to see some of the different ways that newspapers exhibit bias. For additional information, read “How to Detect Bias in News Media.”

    Watch the brief video lesson, Detecting Bias in the Media, to see the different ways that media outlets present their biases.  

    Take some time to navigate the News Bias Explored site. Be sure to click on and participate in all sections. Pay close attention to how word choice, omission, and source selection can lead to bias.



    Discuss your ideas / opinions / understandings.


    It is important to know where you align on the political spectrum. Your political affiliation will often determine which news outlet you prefer. Take the Political Typology Quiz to determine your affiliation.  

    • What were your results of the quiz? How do you think you came to have the political beliefs you do? Do you think that the news outlet (i.e., Fox News, MSNBC, CNN) that your family most often watches has influenced your world views?  


    Now it is time to self check how much you have learned about the fake news.  If you do not know as much as you thought, go back to the “Explore” section of this seminar and reread, rewatch, or redo the activities listed.  See your facilitator if you have questions.

    Click here to take the quiz online. You do not have to log into the quiz site in order to take this quiz. If a window pops up asking you to sign up for the quiz site, just close the sign-up window and start your quiz.


    This is a task or project where you can show what you know.

    Your political views will often determine which newspaper or news channel you prefer.  For example, people with more conservative views tend to prefer Fox News while people with more liberal views tend to prefer MSNBC. It is normal to have a preferred source for news, but challenge yourself to frequently read or watch news stories from opposing viewpoints. This will allow you to develop a well-rounded, informed opinion where bias is limited.

    • Go to the All Sides Website. This site provides news from multiple perspectives to allow you to receive more balanced news.  

    • At the top of the webpage, click on “Topics & Dialog.” Select a topic that is of interest to you (e.g., gun control, terrorism, etc.).  

    • Select two articles on the same topic--one written from a “left” (L) perspective and one written from a “right” (R) perspective.  

    • Read each article, highlighting areas that you feel are biased. Then, provide evidence for the following areas for each article:

      • Bias through selection and omission:

      • Bias by word choice and tone (loaded language):

      • Bias by headline:

      • Bias by photos, captions, and camera angles:

      • Bias through use of names and titles:

      • Bias through statistics:

      • Bias by source control:

    • You will compare and contrast the two articles in one of the following formats:

      • Word/Google Doc

      • Slideshow

      • Media recording (audio/video)


    Complete this wrap-up activity where you reflect on your learning.  

    What part of this seminar do you feel made the biggest impact on your life?  How will you apply what you learned in this seminar to your future habits when consuming news?