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CTRL-F: Find the Facts is an online verification skills module designed to help students evaluate digital information and determine what to trust.

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3. Check the Claim

Often we just want to know if something we've heard or read is true or not. These are skills to help verify the facts

Guiding Questions


  • How do I distinguish between a factual claim and a value claim?
  • How do I verify a claim or story?
  • Which sources can I rely on to verify claims?


Estimated Time


The activities in this section take an estimated 2 hours to complete




People make claims all the time, but a claim is not necessarily a statement of truth. Some claims can be factually proven, while others are a matter of opinion or interpretation. It is easier to evaluate factual claims, but we can collect context about any claim that will help us to put it into perspective and form our own opinions.

In this lesson, students distinguish between factual claims and value claims before learning to verify claims they see online or hear from others. In the Consolidation activity, students apply these skills to claims they encounter in their daily lives.


Learning Outcomes


By the end of these activities, students will be able to: 

  • explain the difference between a factual claim and a value claim;
  • analyze when it is helpful to check claims;
  • demonstrate lateral reading skills to verify claims


Key Terms


fact, factual claim, opinion, value claim, verify



A Note on Formats and File Types


For the various activities, you will find different file types, including Google Forms, Word files, and Google Docs. The content is nearly identical, but some changes were made to adapt to each format. All versions can be modified and incorporated into your current teaching methods and platforms.

Note: The Google Forms option allows students to check their work and view a walkthrough of the technique after submitting their answers. To access background information and tips for using Google Forms, please download this support document.


STARTER (15-20 min)


  1. Review the concept of a claim. A claim is something that someone says is true or factual – but sometimes it isn’t the truth.
  2. Explain to students they are going to play a game called ‘Three Claims’ — it is similar to the Two Truths and a Lie.
  3. Divide students into small groups. This activity can be done in the classroom or outside, or virtually with a Google doc.
  4. Explain to students that they will have to share one truth and one lie about themselves, along with one opinion about any topic they want. The group members will have to decide which statement is a lie, and if they agree or disagree with the opinion stated. Make sure they understand the game by providing your own examples.
  5. Have students share their claims with the rest of the group. After each student is finished sharing their three statements, the rest of the group members will vote for which claim they believe is a lie and then vote if they agree with the opinion statement.


FUNDAMENTALS (20-25 min)


1. Using Slide Deck 3, review the following key terms: fact, opinion, factual claim and value claim.

2. Ask students to assess whether a series of claims are factual claims or value-based claims (Activity 3.1). Afterwards, have them write their own example for each]

3. Review the answers to Activity 3.1 as a class.


SKILLS (55-65 min)


  1. Watch the “Check the Claim with Jane Lytvynenko” video and ask students to respond to the first three questions on Activity 3.2.
    • What are fact-checking organizations? What do they do?
    • When we are evaluating claims, what questions do we want to ask?
    • Research three fact-checking organizations using Wikipedia. Write down some quick facts about them.


  1. Watch “Check Other Sources with Mike Caulfield and ask students to respond to question 4, 5 6 on Activity 3.2.
    • Describe the skill discussed in the video. 
    • Why is this a helpful strategy? When would you use it?
    • What is the concluding message? How does it relate to you?


  1. Watch “Advanced Claim Check with Mike Caulfield and ask students to respond to question 7 and 8 on Activity 3.2.
    • What are steps for checking claims you hear through videos, messaging apps or from friends and family?
    • What is the final take-away of the video?


  1. Demonstrate looking up a claim by doing a web search. You can use the example below or one of your own choosing.
    • Claim: A chemical is added to swimming pools to catch people who urinate by turning the water blue
    • Keyword search: chemical turns pee blue in pools
    • Results: The Snopes Fact-Check should appear in the top three search results.

Review the findings on Snopes with your class.


  1. Ask students to practice checking claims with the examples in the “Practice Checking Sources” Google Forms or Activity 3.3.


Teacher Note: The Google Forms option allows students to check their work and view a walkthrough of the technique after submitting their answers.To access background information and tips for using Google Forms, please download this support document.





Ask students to summarize what they learned through the activities and to apply the skills in their own lives (Activity 3.4).

  • Summarize the lateral reading strategy learned today. When you would use it to help you evaluate information?
  • Verify two claims of your own choosing. 
    • Describe the story/claim in one or two sentences.
    • List the keywords for web search
    • Summarize findings from two reputable sources 
    • Determine a verdict (True/False/Complicated/Unknown)

Afterwards, consider having students exchange claims or stories with a classmate and have them compare their findings and verdicts. 


Modifications for Remote and Blended Learning


Suggestions for modifying the activities coming soon

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