This 60-minute strategy helps students answer the big question: who is behind information? Students practice lateral reading skills from the Stanford History Education Group’s Civic Online Reasoning website using Adobe Acrobat Pro. This strategy can stand on its own or be a part of a broader unit on research and determining the credibility of sources.
Because Adobe Acrobat Pro enables students to view, create, and manipulate PDF documents, this strategy empowers students to become critical consumers of the information they read online as they annotate and practice the skill of lateral reading in a deep and meaningful way.
Editable Resource Bundle
PDF Resource Bundle
Students explore resources from The Stanford History Education Group’s Civic Online Reasoning website as an introduction to using lateral reading as a strategy for sorting fact from fiction online. [Presentation and mini-lesson notes for teacher] (25 minutes)
Students choose and annotate a current events news article as though they were professional fact checkers using Adobe Acrobat to practice lateral reading strategies. If you would prefer to teach this with more controlled groups, here is an alternate reading assignment for this creation task. (30 minutes)
Students evaluate the reliability of sources and deepen their civic online reasoning skills by practicing lateral reading strategies using these steps to guide them. Students can examine an example here and use these steps to guide their use of Acrobat. (5 minutes)
Students share and publish their demonstrations of lateral reasoning as directed.
This 60-minute strategy introduces you to lateral reading skills from The Stanford History Education Group’s Civic Online Reasoning website. In this strategy, you will demonstrate your ability to sort fact from fiction in the news by applying lateral reading strategies in Adobe Acrobat Pro.
Adobe Acrobat Pro enables you to view, create, and manipulate PDF documents in order to critically evaluate information you are reading!
1. Watch a video on how to sort fact from fiction online using Lateral Reading. When you are done viewing the video clip, answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper and then share your answers with a partner. (5-7 minutes)
Summarize what you learned about lateral reading
What kinds of sources should we use when we read laterally? Why?
3. Act like a professional fact checker and annotate and highlight a current news article of your choice using Adobe Acrobat Pro to practice lateral reading in order to distinguish between real and fake news. (30 minutes)
As you read, annotate by following the steps below:
Highlight the sponsoring organization and consider the author’s perspective, their expertise on the topic, and why they’re presenting the information.
Based on claims from these fact checking organizations, how reliable is your source? Answer this question on your annotated document.
4. Share your work in Adobe Acrobat as directed by your instructor.
Consult the attached rubric in order to evaluate students' work.