News Literacy

The Keys to Combating Fake News

by Michelle Luhtala and Jacquelyn Whiting


Lessons to help students recognize "fake news" when they read it.

Print Flyer
Cover image for News Literacy

May 2018

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 173
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Librarian's Instructional Role/Inquiry Learning and Process, K-12
  Librarian's Instructional Role/Curriculum and Instruction, K-12

At a time when misinformation in the media is abundant, this book explains the difficulty in nurturing students to become critical researchers and offers practical lessons that empower students to excavate information that will help them learn.

This guide to teaching news literacy explores a wealth of resources and classroom-tested lessons that educators in grades 7–12 can use in their own libraries and classrooms. To introduce the concept of news literacy, the authors explain the steps of the inquiry and research process in detail and examine the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) 2016 report "Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning" and related research studies.

Lesson plans corresponding to each stage of the process are coordinated to relevant standards from the CCSS and ISTE and are accompanied by rubrics for providing students feedback on their progress as well as samples of student work as it evolved through the stages. Furthermore, the authors' anecdotal insights from their experiences in collaboratively implementing the lessons with colleagues are an invaluable addition for any librarian seeking to work with teachers to help students become critical researchers.


  • Provides easily replicated and adaptable standards-based lessons
  • Observes a classroom-tested research model applicable to grade levels 7–12
  • Constructs a usable framework for collaboration with colleagues
  • Gives educators tools to advocate for the necessity of a vibrant, inquiry-based library media program
Author Info

Michelle Luhtala is Library Department Chair at New Canaan High School in New Canaan, Connecticut. She facilitates an online learning community for nearly 12,000 library and educational technology professionals at, where she has hosted over 80 webinars since 2010. She is an adjunct instructor in the Masters of Information Program at Rutgers University' s School of Communication and in the Information and Library Science Department at Southern Connecticut State University and is also a contributing author to Libraries Unlimited's Growing Schools: Librarians as Professional Developers. The American Association of School Librarians distinguished her as Curriculum Champion in 2017.

Jacquelyn Whiting is a veteran educator with 25 years of experience as both a high school social studies teacher and a library media specialist. She is a Certified Google Innovator, and a local activator for the Future Design School. She is the winner of the 2017 Connecticut Association of School Librarians' Carlton W. H. Erickson Award for an auspicious beginning in media services and was the 2016 recipient of the Connection Region 9 Teacher of the Year award. She currently works as a high school library media specialist in Connecticut. You can follow Jacquelyn on Twitter @MsJWhiting



"This detailed work by librarians Luhtala and Whiting is aimed at school librarians and teachers, but its contents will also help those working with community-college and undergraduate students; even librarians who don't specifically offer information-literacy instruction will find their thinking about media literacy expanded by the material offered. . . . [A] valuable work."Booklist, Starred Review

"While the lessons work for middle and high school students, elementary librarians can adapt them to their classes. VERDICT: A superb road map for those teaching media literacy."School Library Journal, Starred Review

"This book is an essential resource for the entire learning community. The authors are brilliant school librarians."Knowledge Quest Blog

Other Titles of Interest

Concise Guide to Information Literacy, 2nd Edition cover imageReference and Instructional Services for Information Literacy Skills in School Libraries, 3rd Edition cover imageA Guided Inquiry Approach to Teaching the Humanities Research Project cover image
Guided Inquiry Design® in Action cover imageGuided Inquiry Design® in Action cover imageThe Big6 Curriculum cover image

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