This lesson, designed for Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, gives pupils at Key Stage 3 – 4 an opportunity to explore if claims that they encounter online – or any claims that they see, read, and hear – are true, using evidence as the gold standard to evaluate those claims.

• This could help pupils as part of a rounded sex and relationship education (SRE) plan
• This could help Key Stage 3 – 4 pupils engage with the ‘Working scientifically’ content section of the UK science curriculum
• The lesson ideas included involve constant pupil participation and are flexible to different size, time and ability constraints
• This is an updated version of the first Ask for Evidence lesson plan, first published in 2015, based on feedback from teachers and pupils

The lesson will help teenagers develop their critical thinking and questioning skills.

Learning objectives:

• Pupils must know that not all things reported are true, and it is possible to ask for evidence
• Pupils should analyse evidence from a variety of sources, be able to know how to ask for evidence, and feel confident if they do not know whether to believe something that they see online
• Pupils might evaluate a variety of claims and feel confident to ask for evidence

The resource includes flexible lesson plans with links to external resources, and includes printable material for the classroom.

The driving question is, ‘Where do news stories and claims about health come from, and how do we know if they’re true?’ It focuses on finding and understanding evidence, and covers diets, clinical trials, and choosing reliable sources to find information about e.g. drugs/smoking, diet/health, best ways to learn, best ways to stay fit.