The Nantucket Sea Monster: A Fake News Story Lesson Activity

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The Nantucket Sea Monster Summary

Do you believe everything you read in newspapers? What if you read a news report about a monster living in the sea? Would you believe the story? In 1937, The Inquirer and Mirror published sea monster sightings in Nantucket. After large webbed footprints appeared in the sand, people were intrigued. Could this monster be real? The surprise ending will leave readers wondering about the validity of news.

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The Nantucket Sea Monster Lesson Activity

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Engage/Think VI.A.2 Learners follow ethical and legal guidelines for gathering and using information by understanding the ethical use of information, technology, and media.

As the subtitle indicates, the sea monster story was fake news. The people that read the story were fooled.

Ask learners the following questions:

  • “How do you think the people must have felt when they learned the truth?”
  • “What do you think they did when they realized what happened?”
  • “Why is it important for newspapers to report the truth?”

High School Learners

Have you heard about Gabe Fleisher, a remarkable teen journalist? He writes a nonpartisan newsletter that makes government news easier to understand. Wake Up To Politics provides readers with the latest facts five days a week.

  • Meet Fleisher by listening to an interview with Joshua Johnson on NPR’s 1A Learners will be fascinated hearing about Fleisher’s passion for reporting the truth.
  • Read Fleisher’s newsletter, Wake Up to PoliticsGive learners time to explore and discuss.

Professional Development

Works Cited:

1A (

News Literacy: Book Talk With Michelle Luhtala and Jacquelyn Whiting (

Wake Up to Politics (

Watch This Space: Meet Teen Journalist Gabe Fleisher (

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