Teaching the CRAAP Test

One of the biggest challenges teachers face today, is how to teach students to check sources and navigate information online. Bias, propaganda, and outright lies seem to be lurking around every corner. Even adults seem to struggle with finding reliable information online. So how can you teach students? One way, is to use the CRAAP Test.

The CRAAP Test is a test that can be used to check sources when viewing information online, and to determine if the information can be trusted – or if the information is, well, crap. The CRAAP Test is really an acronym, which acts like a checklist, that can be applied to any type of online information.

What is the CRAAP Test

The CRAAP Test is an acronym that acts as a checklist, which can be used to determine if a source of information can be trusted. The CRAAP Test acronym is defined below.

C – Currency

When was this published?

Was it recent enough?

Why or why not?

R – Relevance

Is the information related to my question?

Is the information appropriate?

Do I feel comfortable with this information?

A – Authority

Who is the author?

What are their qualifications?

What does the url (.gov, .com, .edu) tell us about the source?

A – Accuracy

Is the source supported by evidence?

Are there citations or other sources?

Are there any grammar errors?

P – Purpose

Is the author’s purpose made clear?

Is the source neutral or biased?

Is the author trying to sell you something?

Each letter of the acronym asks a general question about the source of information. Answering the questions for each letter helps the students understand the source of information better. After each question is answered, the student should have a good idea about whether or not the source can be trusted, or if it’s crap.

How to Teach the CRAAP Test

The CRAAP Test is a great and fun (because students love to say “crap”) way to teach students how to identify if a source of information can be trusted, or if it is crap!

In my experience, the CRAAP Test works really well to be taught in the classroom to upper elementary, middle school, and even high school students. 

The way I’ve taught the CRAAP Test, is to hand out a worksheet that follows the acronym like a checklist. 

You can download the free CRAAP Test worksheet here!

Next, I model with my students how to apply the checklist to an online source of information.

Finally, I have my students try it on their own.

When to Teach 

Usually, I introduce the CRAAP Test at the start of the school year. Initially, my goal is to make sure students are thinking about the reliability of online information. As we continue to practice the CRAAP Test, I begin to make sure the students are able to accurately determine if a source can be trusted, or if it’s crap.

The main way I do this is through a curated list of reliable, and unreliable, websites. Once this CRAAP Test example is checked, it becomes clear that the website can or cannot be trusted.

In fact, this has been such a priority of mine, that I created a whole unit around teaching the CRAAP Test.

Check out the CRAAP Test Worksheet and Curated List (with activity extensions)

Check out the CRAAP Test Unit

Each of the above links can also be used as a type of CRAAP Test quiz, or even as a CRAAP Test template for any lessons you teach about information reliability. They also include a curated list of great websites that can be used for CRAAP Test examples.

I would highly suggest that you create your own curated list of websites, or even your own unit, to teach the CRAAP Test. However, if you want to save some time, feel free to check out the links to my CRAAP Test PDF, and unit, above. Just a quick note – each of these also includes a CRAAP Test rubric for assessment.

Further Resources

Below is a video that can also be used to help explain the CRAAP Test for your students. You can also access my curriculum store here, which includes CRAAP Test classroom wall posters, the CRAAP Test handout, and other resources.

I know there are mixed feelings in the education community about stores like these, but I’ll offer this – if you want free resources, I have them. If you want to save time building curriculum or creating assignments and assessments for your students, then feel free to check out the paid resources as well!

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