This fascinating and very relevant lesson looks at strategies for identifying fake news and fake websites.

fake news


This lesson can be used with teenagers or adults. The lesson begins with a brief discussion about news and fake news.

Students then skim read two webpages. One website is about the Tree Octopus (a spoof), while the other is about the Octopus Tree. After a brief reading comprehension activity, students study the websites, using a set of questions to help them. The goal is to discover which one is the fake website and why it’s fake!

As a final activity, students find other fake news stories currently circulating the internet. They choose one from the list and design a post or meme advising their friends not to fall for it.


  • To expand knowledge of vocabulary related to news and the media
  • To raise students’ awareness of fake news through discussion and reading
  • To develop students’ 21st-century skills, including critical thinking, collaboration and media literacy


Aged 13-17 and adults at (CEFR level B1+)


45-60 minutes


  • Lesson plan
  • Presentation - This can replace the worksheet for a print-free lesson
  • Student worksheet
Lesson plan165.81 KB
Worksheet 181.28 KB
Language Level


Submitted by Krystyna Bevziuk on Thu, 07/27/2023 - 20:32

I like this Lesson plan. The topic is very important and absorbing. Only one thing I would like to ask: could you please give some more topics which can be considered from two points of view?

Submitted by Cath McLellan on Fri, 07/28/2023 - 08:37

In reply to by Krystyna Bevziuk

Hi Krystyna

Glad you like the lesson plan! For the project, students are asked to find another fake news story on the internet - the idea is for them to search for something current and, using the questions for spotting fake websites from the worksheet, they can report back to the class on what they found, and how they know the information is not reliable. The topic could be anything that the students are interested in (celebrity gossip, science news etc.).

Hope your students enjoy the lesson too!


TeachingEnglish team

Submitted by Ross Ford on Wed, 02/03/2021 - 15:42

A nice lesson, thanks!

Submitted by fekedani on Fri, 05/15/2020 - 08:04

Where can i find the answer key?


Submitted by Cath McLellan on Fri, 05/15/2020 - 12:31

In reply to by fekedani


You can find the answer keys to the tasks in the lesson plan above.


TE Team

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