Preview the lesson below, then register for free to access the entire lesson or assign it to students.​
Average Duration
30-60 min.
Difficulty Level
Lesson Host
Claire Wardle
of First Draft

Learn to understand different types of misinformation and the ways that misinformation can damage democracy.

News literacy topics

Social media; Misinformation; Fact-checking and verification; Digital citizenship

Learning objectives

  • I can identify and differentiate between different types of misinformation.
  • I can explain why understanding and debunking misinformation matters.
  • I can evaluate and explain the possible consequences of misinformation.
  • I can understand the role of Russian disinformation during and after the 2016 presidential election.

Essential questions

  • What makes some pieces of information “go viral”?
  • What makes rumors spread?
  • What emotions do rumors provoke in people?
  • What are some of the reasons people share false information?
  • Is all misinformation bad or damaging? Why or why not?


“Here are three questions that can help us to understand the broader landscape of misinformation.

One: What are some different types of misinformation?
Two: Why should we care? and
Three: How can we fight back against it?

Let’s start with the first question: Misinformation comes in all different shapes and sizes. Learning to identify different types makes it easier to distinguish misinformation from factual information.”