In this day and age, where anyone with access to the internet can create a website, it is critical that we as educators teach our students how to evaluate web content. There are some great resources available for educating students on this matter, such as Kathy Schrock’s Five W’s of Website Evaluation or the University of Southern Maine’s Checklist for Evaluating Websites.
Along with checklists and articles, you will also find wonderfully funny hoax websites, aimed at testing readers on their ability to evaluate websites. These hoax sites are a great way to bring humor and hands-on evaluation into your classroom, and test your students’ web resource evaluation IQ!
Check out these 11 example hoax sites for use in your own classrooms:
- All About Explorers
- Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division
- California’s Velcro Crop Under Challenge
- Feline Reactions to Bearded Men
- Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
- Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie
- British Stick Insect Foundation
- The Jackalope Conspiracy
- Buy Dehydrated Water
- Republic of Molossia
- Dog Island
Of all of these, my favorite is always the Dihydrogen Monoxide website, which aims to ban dihydrogen monoxide and talks in detail about its dangers. Only after a few minutes did I catch that dihydrogen monoxide, is after all, H2O!