Theory: Vygotsky’s Activity Theory

Instructional Model: Understanding by Design (UBD)


Topic: Develop Digital Literacy

Established Goals:

  1. Identify fake news, unreliable sources, partisan political ads, sensationalized content, emotional appeal, and false dilemma.
  2. Present examples of each technique being used in news, advertisements, posts, and memes.
  3. Create a class-based framework for evaluating the accuracy and trustworthiness of information.

Prerequisites: *

  • Completed previous session on Logical Fallacies
  • Subscribed to at least one social account.
  • Access to smartphone, laptop or other device
  • Access to social accounts through internet access


  1. Individually, research digital media platforms to find and take screenshots of:
    • Fake News
    • Sensationalized content
    • Social commentary memes
    • Political ads
  2. In small groups, combine your collections and arrange your screenshots in PowerPoint:
    • Organize the screenshots by the technique
    • Identify the logical fallacy
    • Describe the technique and how it appeals
    • Explain the assumption and the alternatives
  3. As a class, develop a framework for evaluating news, content, and memes.
    • Create steps or processes
    • Create an explanation
    • How can you explain your framework to others?
  4. In small groups, create a 1-page infographic or 2 minute presentation to educate a specific audience (children, peers, parents, grandparents) about how to identify harmful content using the class framework as a guide.

Target Audience:

There are two target audiences for this course:

  1. Middle school to High School Students/College Students.  The content for this group is moved more towards finding reliable and substantive content for research and a focus on entertainment and cultural content.
  2. Adults who casually use social networks and pass along content. There are many in this group that would rate their digital literacy very high, but they can fall prey to these techniques as well.


  • Identify questionable content and explain their reasoning for identifying it.
  • Show examples of “fake news” or unreliable content and explain what makes it unreliable
  • Explain a “false dilemma” from a politically or socially oriented meme.
  • Describe at least 5 logical fallacies by using curated examples

Technologies, Media & Materials:

  • Learners are subscribed to at least one social platform
  • Access to smartphone, laptop, desktop or another device
  • Access to social accounts through internet access
  • Screen capture program or ability
  • PowerPoint for presentation