TeachersFirst's Media Literacy
Today’s messages come in many forms and literacy can no longer refer simply to the ability to read and write. Media literacy is a set of skills that help people to analyze, evaluate, and create messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres, and formats. To become media literate, students must learn to raise the right questions about what they are listening to, watching, or reading. Media literacy education is about helping students become competent, critical, and literate in all media forms so that they can appropriately interpret what they see or hear rather than blindly accepting what they are told. This collection of resources includes lesson ideas, activities and resources for teaching media literacy skills. Be sure to also check out the media literacy professional learning resources.
Click here to view our complete collection of tagged media literacy resources.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomThis game is perfect for use as an introduction to lessons on digital citizenship, media literacy, and social media. Share the site with your students to explore on their own and encourage them to play several different times using the different options provided. Your students won't mind playing over and over; it is easy to get hooked on trying to find the best way to gain as many followers as possible! Once students become familiar with the game and the different options presented for spreading misinformation, ask them to apply their findings to online content. Have them do some online research to find sites or information using tactics such as emotion and the others featured in Bad News. As they research sites and online information, have them add links to the sites they find on a class Padlet. Padlet, reviewed here, offers an option to create columns, use this option then label a column for each badge found in the game and ask students to share a link to their sites in the appropriate column. In addition to adding a link, have students include a comment providing information on why their site belongs in the category. Instead of assessing learning with quizzes or a written report, transform your assessment by having students create infographics to share information learned. Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, provides easy to use templates to create interesting and informative infographics. Take learning one step further and ask students to become the teacher using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, to create an online learning activity teaching others on how to recognize and avoid disinformation found online. Be sure to share your assessment rubric with students as part of your assignment. Find many ideas for implementing rubrics for assessment along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue, reviewed here.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the many lessons on this site to teach important media literacy lessons to your students. Share videos and articles on your interactive whiteboard to watch together. Stop as needed to add questions, comments, or highlight important information. You may want to use a video tool such as Vizia, reviewed here, to embed questions, comments, and polls into the videos. Then you can show the videos to the whole class or flip your classroom and have them watch the videos at home. This will leave time in class to discuss comments and questions students may have. Ask students to create blogs sharing their thoughts and research using an easy blogging tool like Telegra.ph, reviewed here. When finished with a lesson, ask students to create a book teaching the concept to other students. Book Creator, reviewed here, offers an online book creation tool that includes the use of media like video, audio recording, and more.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse ideas found in the newsletters on this site as the basis for professional development sessions. Organize participant's thoughts and ideas using a mind mapping tool like MindMup, reviewed here. Share websites, articles, and resources related to your topic using a bookmarking tool such as SearchTeam, reviewed here. SearchTeam allows you to share resources and add comments making collaboration easy for participants. Expand your learning and collaboration efforts using a tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here. FlipGrid is a video response tool that allows you to record a question and gather video responses. As a final product, share information learned from this site and others through a multimedia presentation with Sway, reviewed here. Sway is an easy to use tool for creating professional-looking online presentations including video, images, text, and more.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomThe archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): professional development (164)
In the ClassroomGain a better understanding of media literacy tools by taking KQED's professional development courses. Participate in classes on your own or with colleagues as part of your ongoing professional development. Begin any of the self-paced courses anytime and complete them at your own pace.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomComputer Literacy teachers and those responsible for teaching Internet safety in any course are sure to find a lesson they need. Take advantage of these free lessons to educate students about the basics of the Internet from safety to reading the terms of service to creating or sharing memes. After these lessons, challenge students to create a simple infographic about what they learned using Infogram, reviewed here. The lessons and (some of) the descriptions include resources you may want to share with parents and school counselors so they can have a conversation about the topics with their students. Discuss topics on this site as part of Internet safety lessons. Share this site with school counselors as a resource for teens facing online safety issues.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse any or all of the units and interactives with any Civil Rights lessons; this site isn't just for Black History Month! Share with journalism students as they explore the role of the press in shaping and telling the story of a nation. Have small groups or pairs of students redefine their learning by making a multimedia presentation exploring the First Amendment and the role of the press using a tool such as Sway, reviewed here. With the web-based Sway, you can include text, images, and video. To illustrate different press coverage around the nation, have students modify their learning by creating maps using Animaps, reviewed here; students can add text, images, and location stops!
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lessons, discussion questions, sample articles, and worksheets offered for use in your classroom. Divide students into small groups and assign different discussion questions and activities to each group. Allow all older students to have a voice in the small group by using a chat service like Flock, reviewed here. Challenge the small groups to create a slide presentation using Swipe, reviewed here, demonstrating information learned. With Swipe students can add videos, images and documents making them all interactive. Note: with Flock students can also start planning the presentation and keep the plan for 30 days. If you cannot make a field trip to the Newseum for the Gallery Guide Handout, you can do a Google search for Who Controls the News and find many free resources.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomIf you teach or even discuss civil rights, the First Amendment and its freedoms and ideals, current events, or the presidential elections be sure to look at the lessons provided here. The lessons will also help you show students how to tell facts from opinions in current events. Use ideas from the lesson plans to supplement your current teaching materials. Modify learning and challenge small groups of students to create an infographic sharing their learning from the notes they took during a lesson. Use Infogram, reviewed here, to construct the infographic. If you plan on using one of the EdCollections ask students to redefine their learning and develop a multimedia presention using Presentious, reviewed here, or an interactive poster with a tool like Genial.ly, reviewed here, for one of the suggested Extension Activities.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomShare student-created podcasts found on Youth Radio for use as a model during digital storytelling lessons. Take advantage of the free lessons offered on the site for use in your classroom. Share a link on your class website for students to explore and find podcasts that interest them. After listening to these student podcasts, have cooperative learning groups create podcasts of their own. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Before creating their own podcast, have students create a storyboard using a tool like Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here. They will also need to develop a script and practice. Try using Penflip, reviewed here, for students to write collaboratively. This tool allows groups of three or more to write together with complete version control.
This is one of the best sites on the web for engaging teens in the world around them. The "Teacher Resources" are phenomenal.Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse Media History Digital Library in your classroom as a secondary resource to discover the culture and setting of a time period while studying literature or even through history classes. List the clues and details that provide further information. Analyze the article use and its influence on society by using close reading techniques. In a multimedia class, discover the history and progression of cinema, broadcasting, and sound. Use to discover the influence of critical world events such as world wars, depressions, economic influences, an industrial revolution, and more. Analyze the artistic changes throughout time.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this site when discussing political or advertising claims with your students. Build critical thinking and questioning skills. Share specific articles with students as young as upper elementary. Share the "Understand Evidence" portion of the site with students before they begin any investigational reports or persuasive writing pieces. Use specific articles rather than the full site with less mature students. This site will give them experience reading informational text on claims they wonder about. Partner weaker readers with others who may be able to help them read the text-heavy articles. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomThe availability of inexpensive video cameras and film editing software makes including film making as a part of the regular classroom easier than ever. With digital writing included as part of Common Core, documentaries are a wonderful way to share student-written, informational text in a multimedia format. Incorporate the lessons that accompany these films as you introduce a documentary project. Help students understand that no matter how much fun it might be to watch the latest homemade viral video on YouTube, effective film making requires planning and design. The lessons presented here will be of particular assistance to students who are considering a National History Day entry in the documentary category.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): media literacy (71)
In the ClassroomBookmark this site to explore and use with lessons related to digital and media literacy. Share articles on gender and body image with students. Have students find examples on tv and use an online poster creator, such as PicLits, reviewed here to demonstrate examples. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here.
Grades8 to 12
tag(s): poetry (225)
In the ClassroomEncourage your most avid writers to submit their poetry to this site. Use your whiteboard or projector to show them the "Take Action Guides." There you will find many issues of concern to youth today. Most students will enjoy uniting multimedia, poetry, and activism in one place. Challenge your students to write a poem in 160 characters or 140 characters (the length of a text message or Tweet respectively). Counselors may want to encourage disenfranchised students to join the site and write about their deepest feelings. This is a supportive community that encourages students to develop their own voice.
Grades9 to 12
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