Media Literacy Lessons & Activities
Key Questions for Social Media Literacy
English teacher Laura Winnick and I are currently developing a social media literacy curriculum to present at the NYCoRE Conference 2018. We adapted and scaffolded CML's 5 Key Questions so that students can critically analyze Instagram posts.
This advertising webquest is a great introduction to the different kinds of advertising in our world. Pair it with the chart download below for a complete 30-minute activity. Works for grades 4-7.
Utopia/Dystopia in Film
If you are teaching any of the popular sci fi canon that takes place in a utopia/dystopia (The Giver, 1984, Brave New World, Lord of the Flies, Clockwork Orange, etc.), search Youtube for some movie trailers. I like using Minority Report, Gattaca, The Hunger Games, Vanilla Sky, In Time... Screen these trailers to students and use this worksheet as a companion.
The Illusion of Choice
This infographic may be a little out of date, but it does so much to inspire conversation in a classroom. Have your students, ages 12-18, review the infographic in pairs. You may want to have them answer a few questions about it. Then, discuss why this all matters. How does it affect our lives?
Implementing Media Literacy in Your Classroom
Jaclyn Kahn, David Cooper Moore, and I wrote this "getting started" guide in honor of Media Literacy Week 2016. It's a good place to begin!
Analyzing Media Reps. of Minority Groups
Below, you'll find a student analysis sheet that can be adapted for various units; although the PDF focuses on the representation of Latina/os, one could easily change that to any particular ethnicity, religion, sexuality. It just requires finding some interesting clips! I have done this same lesson with representations of autistic characters in the media. Please watch my webinar to learn more about how
Media Perceptions of Ancient Egypt
In this 50-minute lesson, students analyze film clips featuring ancient Egypt to determine how modern myths and assumptions about cultures are created. The structure of this lesson can be applied to any ancient historical time period.
Media from the 1930s
This lesson encourages students to examine media artifacts from the 1930s to learn more about the historical setting of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Although the Logans seem worlds away from movie theaters and magazine advertisements, in this lesson, students realize that their plight does not exist in a vacuum.
Watch & Write
The simplest-- and sometimes most effective-- media literacy exercise is simply to have students watch something and think about it. Most sitcoms work well for this. Use the CML's 5 Key Questions to guide students toward deep, analytical thinking.
A Journey to Media Literacy
Show this short film created by European Association of Viewer Interests to teachers or students to spark a discussion. Good for a media literacy professional development or an intro to media literacy class.