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Reliability and Bias in Websites: Formats & Domains

Main Core Tie

Secondary Library Media (6-12)
Strand 2: Standard 2:

Time Frame

1 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups

Life Skills

Thinking & Reasoning


Marianne F. Bates


At the end of this lesson, the student will be able to identify and describe six website formats and five domain extensions and, applying this information, determine which websites are most reliable. This lesson supports CCSS Writing, Standard 8 and Speaking and Listening, Standards 2 & 5.




  • Bias and Reliability Webquest
    This web page provides students an opportunity to see examples of different websites and compare websites to determine which are most reliable and why.

1. Tables for group discussion

2. Computer lab

3. White board

4. Website evaluation review starter

5. Vocabulary activity cards

6. Bias and Reliability webquest activity

7. Paper and pencil for each student

8. Assessment

Background for Teachers

Students need to be able to critically evaluate websites and must recognize that formats and domain extensions are strong predictors of a website's reliability and objectivity. This lesson is a follow-up lesson to a website evaluation lesson that helps students distinguish reliable and objective websites.

Student Prior Knowledge

Students need to have a basic knowledge of website evaluation techniques which will be reviewed in the starter activity. This starter activity is based on information found in this lesson plan:

Intended Learning Outcomes

1. The student will be able to identify and explain at least six website formats.

2. The student will be able to identify and explain five domain extensions.

3. The student will be able to apply the above knowledge to evaluate internet websites and determine which are most reliable and objective.

Instructional Procedures

1. Students will fill out starter graphic organizer to review website evaluation. After filling it out, they will share their answers with a partner and fill in missing information. Then the class will share, so all students have the review information.

2. Students at each table will complete website formats matching activity by matching each word with its definition. Each group will share 1 or 2 answers with the class.

3. On the whiteboard, the teacher will make 3 columns: Biased, Sometimes Biased, Usually Objective. Students will tape their cards to the white board in the appropriate column.

4. As the teacher reviews the students' choices, students will indicate "thumbs up or thumbs down" to show whether they agree with the choices. The teacher will select students to defend their choices.

5. The students will independently view examples and complete the web quest. After they are finished, they will share with their partner the choices they made.

6. Students will show mastery by completing the formative assessment in the Google form.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

1. Pair struggling students with other students for the Bias and Reliability online activity.

2. Challenge gifted students to find examples of websites that they consider to be biased or reliable and justify their choices.


Students will use skills learned in this lesson whenever they search for sources on the internet, in a variety of settings.

Assessment Plan

Students will be assessed by completing the Google form.

Created: 07/13/2011
Updated: 01/21/2018