Misinformation Mayhem Puzzle Displays – Notes from a Teacher Librarian

NTU Library hosted Ms Joanne Wilson for her 10-day work placement in July- Aug 2023. The work placement is a requirement for her Master of Education (Teacher Librarianship) programme at Charles Sturt University.

Joanne is currently a teacher-librarian with EtonHouse International School Broadrick. Besides looking after the library collection and spaces, she conducts classes for students ranging from preschool to Year 5 (10 to 11 years old). She recently genrefied the picture book collection after observing how the children go about looking for books to read.

One of the activities we included in her placement plan was to visit the Misinformation Mayhem Puzzle Displays at one of three public libraries in Singapore and prepare a report on it.

She visited the one at Tampines Regional Library with her 9-year-old son. By involving her son in the visit, she was able to observe his interactions with the Displays and compare her own responses and his. She identified opportunities to use the materials in her own lessons.

Joanne’s thoughts and ideas about the Displays are included below.

I wondered if teaching kits were created out of these displays. I think they would make wonderful educational resources for teachers. 

This display raises awareness of the dangers of misinformation and online scams. It aims to promote good digital habits to combat them.

I would say the display is aimed at young people aged between 10-16 years, although people of all ages could learn from it!

The engaging artwork makes this a fun display that really draws you in! We spent a long time studying the pictures and spotting all the examples of misinformation and online safety issues.

We teach ‘fake news’ and online safety in our school – artwork like this would be a great starting point to introduce the topic, gauge students’ current knowledge and act as a visual stimulus.

It was interesting to see my 9-year-old son’s interpretation of the images versus my own. It could work well to give this image to small groups of students, allowing time for them to discuss it and then feedback their thoughts to the rest of the class.

The display identifies the following issues, all of which could be used as teaching discussion points in the library:

  • Poster of a “wonder medicine” with a QR code to scan, with the urgent message to “Get ‘em now!”.
  • Online chat website offering $15 for a survey.
  • Unverified seller on social media platform with 2 reviews.
  • Receiving an empty parcel after making an online purchase.
  • Sellers who only accept cash on delivery option.
  • “Love scam” victim.
  • A phishing caller pretending to be a government official.
  • Fake news website claiming “Elephant appears at Marina Bay”.
  • Fake news headline “PSLE cancelled due to hot weather”.
  • News about a “magic pill” message.
  • Always look beyond the initial source and dig deeper to get to the truth.
  • A.I. generated image of a desert in Singapore with a Merlion and Rafflesia plant.
  • A “monster” catfishing (pretending to be a girl).
  • A fake business shopfront.
  • Reporting a suspicious message asking for an OTP (one-time-password).
  • Asking friends, “Are you S.U.R.E.?” when receiving a suspicious message.
  • Checking for security padlock on websites to indicate safe transactions.
  • Show support and comfort your friends who encounter cyber bullies.
  • Avoid clicking on any suspicious links.
  • Finding information from more than one source.
  • Choosing strong passwords for online usage.

We were the only patrons to stop and look at the Misinformation Mayhem Puzzles during our time in the library, despite the display being in a prominent location. This is a shame as it’s a great display that has been thoughtfully planned and produced. It would be an excellent resource for the NLB to share with schools.

Contributed by:

Phoebe Lim, NTU Library
Joanne Wilson, Teacher Librarian, EtonHouse International School Broadrick