First Grade

News or Ads?

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Everyone is talking about real and fake news. Even first graders are hearing their parents, teachers and journalists talking about it. Teachers should begin teaching media literacy skills as soon as students begin using the Internet. 

In the first grade, students will be visiting approved sites that most likely will still have advertisements. The students will learn how to distinguish between the advertisements and the actual content they are supposed to be using. A teacher can also use this opportunity to help students understand what ads are and why they exist. 

Students will:

  • Be able to distinguish between actual content and advertisements on a website. 
  • Understand why it is important to use the actual content and ignore the advertisements. 

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Fake news: Fake news are false stories that appear to be news, spread on the internet or using other media.
  2. Advertisements: Advertisements are messages paid for by those who send them and are intended to inform or influence people who receive them,

To prepare for this lesson:

  • When students are on the Internet, especially in first grade it is very tempting to click on the advertisements on the sites. It is often difficult to distinguish between the actual content and the ads. 
  • The 21Things4Students website has several Quests that the teacher should visit to learn more about media literacy and clickbait
  • First graders are most likely not going to be on any sites that are not pre-approved by the teacher. Unfortunately, many of the kid-approved sites have advertisements. Students need to know not to click on the ads and just read the real content. 
  • Think about sites that your students currently visit. Are there advertisements on any of them? Below are several popular first-grade sites. Use any of these sites below to point out the advertisements to the students. 

See the Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students website in the Teacher Resources. 

Directions for this activity:

  1. The teacher will ask the students if they know what an advertisement is.
  2. The teacher will ask them what their favorite advertisement is on the television. 
  3. The teacher will ask if the advertisements are ever annoying or if they feel the advertisements have interrupted their program. 
  4. The teacher will then talk about advertisements on the Internet and how they can interrupt what the students are doing. 
  5. The teacher will project several websites that students use with advertisements. 
  6. The teacher will explain that the students should not click on the advertisements. Reasons for not doing so are:
    1. The ads will take them away from the actual content.
    2. Clicking on an ad could give the computer a virus so it does not work properly anymore. 
    3. The ad could lead to inappropriate material. 
    4. The ads will be a time waster and the students will not get their work done. 

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • The teacher will assign websites to the students and will assess if they stay on task. 

MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.

Knowledge Constructor
3b. Students evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance
of information, media, data or other resources.
3d. Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad 

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL


Cool Math

Fun Brain

Math Playground

Media Literacy

National Geographic

Safe Kid Games


  • Students will learn the basics of media literacy. 

  • When visiting a reading or ELA site, they will know not to click on advertisements. 

Students will learn not to click on advertisements while on math sites. 

Students will learn not to click on advertisements while on science sites. 

Students will learn not to click on advertisements while on social studies sites. 

This task card was created by Melissa White, 21Things Project Manager, REMC Association of Michigan, February 2018. Updated October 2023.