Check Your Facts First

Knowledge Constructor


Students need to check the accuracy of what they see on the Internet. Young children will especially have a difficult time knowing what is real or fake. Netsmartzkids has an excellent video for students to watch and learn how to fact check. 

Students will:

  • Understand that not everything is not real on the Internet
  • Be able to learn how to fact check what they read and see. 

Vocabulary Words:

  1. Fact check: To fact check is to investigate (an issue) in order to verify the facts.

To prepare for this lesson:

  • View the Netsmartzkids eBook Webster's Geck Goof. Scroll down the page until you find it under eBooks. 
  • There is a video of the book being read aloud on YouTube. 
  • View the Discussion Guide.
  • It is never too early for students to learn about the websites they are visiting. 
    • Check to see if the author is listed. 
    • Check to see if there is a copyright date and if the site has been updated. 
    • Check the domain name (URL). If it is a .gov or .edu it usually can be trusted because they are by experts. 
    • Know they can always ask for help from an adult.  
  • Visit the fake website Save the Pacific Tree Octopus. Look for things that might help the students during the lesson identify that it is a fake site. 

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

Directions for this activity:

  1. The teacher will tell the students that not everything on the Internet is real and sometimes it is really easy to believe that it is. 
  2. Have them watch Webster's Gecko Goof or read the eBook
  3. Take them to several of the websites that they use in the classroom. 
    • Have them identify the author.
    • Find the copyright date and when it was last updated.
    • Have them look at the URL and look at the domain name (.edu, .gov, net, .org).
    • Tell them that is how they can identify who created the site.  
    • The .org, .net and other sites are often safe, but should be checked by a teacher or another adult before the students use the site. 
  4. Take them to the Tree Octopus website and see if they think it is real or fake. 

Different options for assessing the students:

  • Observations
  • Check for understanding
  • Students will be able to identify the following:
    • domain name
    • copyright date
    • author

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.

Device: PC, Chromebook, Mac, iPad 

Browser: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, ALL

Save The Pacific Tree Octopus

​Webster's Geck Goof

Webster's Gecko Goof video on YouTube

​Webster's Geck Goof Discussion Guide


Students begin to learn how to identify real or fake websites when they are doing research. 

Students are learning a basic skill so that when they view science sites on the Internet, they can decide if it is real or not. 

Students are learning a basic skill so that when they view social studies sites on the Internet, they can decide if it is real or not.

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