The Rockefeller Archive Center
Information Science, Arts and Humanities, Education, Elementary Education, English Language Arts, History, Statistics and Probability
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Lower Primary, Upper Primary, Middle School
4, 5, 6, 7, 8
  • Archival Education
  • Cyber Citizenship
  • Digital Literacy
  • Fake News
  • Media Literacy
  • Primary Source
    Creative Commons Attribution

    Education Standards

    The War of the Worlds, Fake News, and Media Literacy Primary Source Unit

    The War of the Worlds, Fake News, and Media Literacy Primary Source Unit


    The following unit offers multiple entry points into developing an understanding of media literacy. The unit framework and primary sources can be integrated into classrooms of grades 4-12. Each lesson has student objectives that can be accomplished within 40 minute periods over the course of several weeks. A midpoint writing assessment, whole class capstone debate, and final independent
    writing assessment are included. Support materials are integrated into the lessons, and the primary source document pages can be found at the end of the unit guide.

    Untitled Section

    The War of the Worlds audience study conducted by the Princeton Radio Project is the primary source document that is the springboard for making historical connections and learning how to consume and share information responsibly. Using the War of the Worlds 1938 broadcast, this scaffolded unit teaches students the value of media literacy and being smart consumers of information by building in interdisciplinary exercises related to the 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast
    and fake news, with optional embedded technology components. The primary source materials convey that history is subjective, and is constantly being evaluated and interpreted.