Is it C.R.A.P? Teach your students how to critically analyze what they are reading online. They won’t be able to read anything, ever again, without thinking about the CRAP test. 

“C.R.A.P. That’s what kids see on the board on the first day of their Cyber CivicsMedia Literacy for Positive Participation” course. It gets their attention. Believe me, ” says Cyber Civics. 

The acronym comes from the book NetSmart: How to Thrive Online (2012) by Howard Rheingold. He states, “The first thing we all need to know about information online is how to detect crap, a technical term I use for information tainted by ignorance, inept communication, or deliberate deception.” Cyber Civics comments, “This test, with an acronymn that is guaranteed to be remembered by students, is a great tool for evaluating online information, and for media literacy in general. It will be used again and again throughout this year.”

“Every man should have a built-in automatic crap detector operating inside him.”

-Ernest Hemingway, 1965


Not only will this lesson entertain your students, it is so easy to remember they will never forget it. So, what is the CRAP Test? It is four simple words to help students critically analyze what they are reading. Think about who is writing it and why, when was it written, and is it reliable? Is everything you read online true? Teach your kids the CRAP Test simply with this free download from Cyber Civics.

Crap Test School LessonC – Currency

R – Reliability

A – Authority

P = Purpose/Point of View


“For those schools not yet teaching Year 3: Media Literacy for Positive Participation, here’s your chance to download a sample lesson to share with your 8th graders (even President Obama recently commented on the importance of media literacy!). This lesson includes a handy acronym to help students critically evaluate misinformation online and off. Please let us know if there are any other lessons you’d like to preview.”

If you’d like to better understand Media Literacy, read here.

Note: This lesson is created for 8th graders. Cyber Civics offers extensive Digital Citizenship and Literacy resources for grades 6-8. 

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