Grade band expectations for news literacy

Grades: 4-6, 7-9, 10-12+

To effectively teach news literacy, school districts need a clear roadmap of how concepts, skills and dispositions develop as students progress through grades PreK-12. The News Literacy Project developed this living document to accompany our Framework for Teaching News Literacy as a guide of scaffolded skills, content knowledge and dispositions for schools and districts seeking to implement news literacy curriculums. It’s designed to foster cross-curricular connections and complement already established benchmark requirements.

For this overview document, expectations are outlined by grade band: PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12+. To see the expectations for each grade band, read vertically. To see how expectations develop for each standard across grade bands, read horizontally. To see what each grade band has in common, read the throughlines for each standard.

By intentionally teaching students how to think like journalists, we can develop healthy skepticism that will stay afloat in our flooded information landscape. We do this by developing five core news literacy standards in age-appropriate ways: Distinguish news from other types of information; acknowledge the importance of the First Amendment in American democracy and a free press to an informed public; apply understanding of how journalists use professional and ethical standards in their work to discern credible information and sources; demonstrate increased critical habits of mind, including effective verification skills and the ability to detect misinformation and faulty evidence; and express and exercise civic responsibility by seeking, sharing and producing credible information as effective participants in democracy.

This grade band expectations document is designed to support a districtwide approach to teaching news literacy. It can be used as is, but we expect that many practitioners will adapt it to better suit their needs. By nature, this document needs to be dynamic and evolve according to changes in the information environment along with your feedback. If you have ideas for ways we can make this resource stronger, please let us know at [email protected].


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