Lesson 2: Sources and who to trust

This lesson plan will give you an understanding of the importance and use of sources and ways to identify which ones are reliable and trustworthy and why it’s recommended to use more than one.

Learning outcomes

  • Young people will be able to consider the viability and trustworthiness of a source
  • They’ll question the origin of a source and analyse whether to believe it whole, in part or not at all
  • Young people will consider the authenticity of articles and consider their own unconscious bias

Brief overview

When working out what is real news and what is fake this can be helped by considering the source of the news piece.

This lesson helps young people to look at a variety of sources and to consider whether they think they are trustworthy. It also helps them to consider how different sources can be deemed a trustworthy source for some situations, and less trustworthy for others.

For instance, you may trust the prime minister to give an update on the latest government policy and Wayne Rooney for the offside rule, but it’s unlikely you would reverse the case.

They have to consider their own bias as they choose particular sources.

Lesson 2: Sources and who to trust - slideshow


  • Students require pen and paper
  • Download prepared slideshow
  • Watch the film Knowing Who to Trust, as suggested in the slideshow
  • Download exercise 1 - Trust bingo
  • Download exercise 2 if you're using computers
  • Download exercise 3 if you're not using computers
  • Download the helpsheet for students, if required

There is one video Knowing Who to Trust, which considers different sources.


  • Exercise 1 is a game of trust bingo - finding the best source for a particular story
  • Exercise 2 looks at how different sources tell the same story
  • Exercise 3 asks young people to tell the same story from different points of view
Exercise 1: Trust bingo
Exercise 2: Using more than one source
Exercise 3: A different angle, a different tale
Knowing who to trust
Recognising fake news
Checking the story
Numbers and the tricks they play
BBC iReporter: What would a journalist do? (Guidance for young people)
Teachers guide to the BBC iReporter interactive game
Lesson 1: Real versus fake news
Lesson 3: Social media, images and data