After being at the forefront of popular and celebrity culture for more than 250 years, Madame Tussauds London has launched a new programme to support and educate students about fake news.
The ‘Fake News and the Media’ school lesson is part of Merlin Entertainments new ‘Today’s Lesson Will Be…’ educational programme that is being rolled out across the company’s London attractions. Created in collaboration with education specialist SHAPES for Schools this new lesson is linked to PSHE and the English national curriculum and is targeted at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 students aged between 9 – 13 years old.
Taking place inside the world famous attraction on Baker Street, which boasts A-list celebrity figures such as Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian, the ‘Fake News and the Media’ lesson has been created as a reaction to the current issues around the distortion and misuse of false information and the influence it is having on young people’s choices.
As the lines continue to blur between what is a real news story and what is false, the interactive lessons will provide teachers and their students with the essential skills to navigate the news agenda safely online and across social media.
‘Today’s Lesson will be…’
Delivered by Madame Tussauds performers, the ‘Fake News and the Media’ lesson will lead students through a critique of how the media presents news whilst also analysing the difference between rumour, spin, satire and false information.
Lessons will include
- Structured discussion around modern celebrity culture and the media, and how the two are linked.
- Working in groups to categories news stories according to different criteria, including: how the news was shared; who wrote it, text and images, and the emotive impact on the reader.
- A group-based definition of ‘fake news’ and other key terminology.
- A game in which pupils try to identify their classmates’ real stories from their fake ones.
Joanne Channon, Education Manager at Merlin Entertainments, said:
“The dissemination of false information through the media both online and across social media can be incredibly confusing and challenging for young people. Out of the classroom learning is proven to be highly effective in helping to stimulate young minds while boosting student’s social skills such as confidence, creativity and communication. We believe our new workshop will inspire students this academic year and we hope it will have a positive impact on how they interact with modern media in the future.”
The fake news workshop helps children to stretch their literacy skills. They will learn how to identify different types of media, it’s purpose and to understand the concept of ‘fake news and how it impacts on modern audiences. Children will analyse a variety of news stories and by picking out textual evidence to back up their decisions they will learn how to assess whether they think the story is real or fake.
Learning outside of the classroom can lead to a deeper understanding of the subjects being taught by bringing it to life. It can help to inspire and reignite enthusiasm for learning. Hands on learning will also enhance a child’s personal and social communication skills by encouraging communication and increases engagement with in the subject.
The new ‘Fake News and the Media’ lesson can be booked as part of Madame Tussauds London’s schools package. This includes such benefits as a 40% saving on tickets and free Teacher Resource Packs. For more information please visit