Day 1 News Literacy lesson

Prepared by: Jami Williams, Mexico High School, Mexico, Missouri

Students will be introduced to the concept and principles of news literacy.


  1. Class length lecture/PowerPoint presentation


  1. Level 1 (Basic) understanding of news literacy and the principles that govern it


  1. PowerPoint labeled News Literacy PowerPoint Day 1
  2. Smartphones for students
  3. FetchNote App
  4. (optional) Keyword Note-taking Template

Steps to check for student understanding

  1. Teacher will do frequent comprehension checks in the form of Classroom Assessment Techniques (thumbs up, thumbs down; exit slip in the form of post-it note summary)
  2. FetchNotes will be shared with the teacher as a formative assessment. Teachers should familiarize with FetchNotes prior to this lesson – students will be very comfortable using it if they are on social media as it mirrors Twitter by using the hashtag as a means of organizing.


  1. Suggested bell ringer: How do you know that a news story is true?
  2. Teacher will instruct students on using FetchNote and give them the @ where they should share their notes. It will be up to the students to determine the hashtags to help them organize their notes. For students who do not have a smartphone or if you do not have access to the Internet, please use the keyword note taking template included.
  3. Teacher will begin PowerPoint presentation; students should begin note taking.


  1. Students will download the FetchNotes App – it is free.
  2. Instruct students to use their real name and the hour of the class; example: johnsmith6
  3. Allow them to create the hashtags as they take the notes – the notes will be separated and organized as they go and then after they are shared with you at your @ moniker (I used my last name and room number) let them know they can access everyone’s notes. Set your expectations for them, for example – I expect at least 13 hashtags with 140 characters from each person. Let them know they can communicate with each other while you are lecturing; it’s important that they know this will be a formal lecture, but with variable leeway.
  4. When you are done lecturing, ask them to submit their notes by sharing them with you @(moniker)


  1. Keyword notes – (you may want to add another day to the lesson plan if you use this option as one of the key pieces of this unit is the collaborative process during learning.)
  2. Once the notes have been taken, the first person will go to a whiteboard or a large piece of paper or a shared Google document and type or write in all of their keywords.
  3. The second person will go behind them and add any notes that they have for the shared keywords only.
  4. The third person will continue the process until all new keywords have been added.
  5. During the second round, the first person will go up and share any information that is not already included.
  6. During the sharing, the teacher should guide and facilitate a discussion asking the class why they feel the same keywords showed up and why students felt those were the stand-out points.


  1. Exit slip: When it comes to news literacy, who is most important: the journalist or the citizen. Explain your answer in one sentence.