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.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the many videos and resources found on this site to include with your digital citizenship lessons. Engage students in learning about digital citizenship using playposit, reviewed here, to add notes, questions, and student-teacher interactions to any video. Enhance the learning experience by including these videos and your other resources into a digital lesson using Blendspace, reviewed here. Extend learning by asking students to share their learning using different technology tools. For example, have some students create a podcast using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, while others create and share video presentations made with Animoto, reviewed here.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomPrint this poster to display in your classroom or computer lab after discussing the information with your students. Use Padlet, reviewed here, to break down the questions found on the poster and share student findings. For example, begin by evaluating a website together as a class. Create a column on your Padlet for each question, then add students' responses in the appropriate column. As students become proficient at evaluating online resources, ask them to use Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to create infographics sharing the validity of websites and online news resources based upon the questions found on the Deceptive Detective poster. Extend learning by asking students to become the instructor through the use of podcasts. Use Buzzsprout, reviewed here, to create bi-weekly or monthly student-created podcasts sharing tips for evaluating websites, how to recognize fake news sources or suggestions for useful resources for student use.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomAdd this game to your toolkit of lessons and activities when teaching Internet safety and media literacy skills. The Teachers' Guide already includes many ideas on integrating the game into classroom lessons and includes using technology to enhance and extend learning. Use these ideas as a starting point to build student engagement and help them understand the real-world applications for the information found in the game. For example, use the suggested Padlet, reviewed here, activity to compile quiz questions as suggested in Activity 5. After completing that activity, have students create their own videos, fake social media posts, or news articles that contain misinformation and create quiz questions for their peers to complete. Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here, is an excellent tool for students to use when creating websites, flyers, and infographics. As a final project, and to extend learning, have students share what they learned with others by producing podcasts using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, or digital books for younger students using Book Creator, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this article with your other resources for teaching how to navigate online information. Include this website within a learning management system such as ActivelyLearn, reviewed here, to build a complete learning unit that includes articles, videos, and assessments that fully immerse and engage students in the learning activities. Enhance learning throughout the school year using Padlet, reviewed here, to curate and organize online information. For example, create a Padlet that includes a column for each of the four categories of fake news mentioned on this website, then ask students to share examples found during online use. Extend learning by asking students to become the teacher through presentations on how to recognize and avoid fake news. Provide a variety of options for student presentations including a comic creation tool like ToonyTool, reviewed here, Binumi, reviewed here, to create simple video explainers, or use Minecraft Education Edition, reviewed here, and have students create a game to teach the hazards of disinformation.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site to take advantage of the many curated resources for teaching media and news literacy. Use a curation tool like Padlet, reviewed here, to save and share favorite resources found on this site with students. Use the shelf option in Padlet to create columns and organize information by topic, type of content, or for use by different groups of students. Enhance instruction by asking students to become creators of information as they share their learning. Have students use Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to create infographics to demonstrate different forms of media bias or to share facts learned from news articles. Extend learning even further by asking students to create blogs using Edublogs, reviewed here, to demonstrate how to write and share the news using credible information and factual resources.
This is such a valuable resource and it's so helpful to have one collection that I know has been vetted with accurate, useful information that teachers can use for themselves as well as with their students. I also love the "In the Classroom" section with suggestions for ways to use the information and resources.Peggy, AZ, Grades: 0 - 8
Grades5 to 8
In the ClassroomTake the ideas and activities found in this lesson plan and enhance them with these lesson extensions. During the first activity, the author suggests taking the name of five products and giving a new humorous name. Take that idea further and ask students to design a print ad using Canva, reviewed here, and using the new product name. Ask students to include a slogan for the product along with imagery promoting the virtues of the item. The second lesson activity asks students to create a new ad to replace one that is boring and unimaginative. Ask students to create a video ad using rawshorts, reviewed here, or another animated video creation tool. As an alternative, have students use Image Annotator, reviewed here, to create annotated images with links to text, videos, and more. As a final project, students create and plan their own ad. Extend learning by asking students to plan and implement a complete ad campaign, including print, video, and online advertising. Before planning their advertisements, ask students to share examples of effective advertising to an online collaboration tool like Padlet, reviewed here. Include links and images of effective advertising along with comments sharing ideas on why and how the ad works. Have students (or student groups) share their ad campaigns using a multimedia presentation tool like Wakelet, reviewed here. Include links to research, student-created projects, and more all within their Wakelet presentation.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude the NewsFeed Defenders game and lesson as part of your broader unit of teaching about online safety and media literacy. Engage studets by using Padlet, reviewed here, to share materials. Include links to videos, articles, and other materials for students to access. Ask them to add comments sharing their insights and information learned. Help students identify online disinformation by collaborating with Fiskkit, reviewed here. Change out paper and pen by sharing the URL of an article to discuss within Fiskkit, then have students highlight any area to discuss the information within the article. Enhance learning by encouraging students to teach others about media literacy using an online book tool like Book Creator, reviewed here. Book Creator can be used for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement, modification, or transformation. Have students design and share a book that includes tips for spotting disinformation or bias using specific examples, including text, videos, and images, along with examples of factual, non-biased information.
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, enhance learning and 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. Extend leaning 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.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): american revolution (74), climate change (80), critical thinking (104), environment (220), martin luther king (40), media literacy (90), middle east (43), nutrition (133), OER (43), presidents (115), russia (33), social media (47)
In the ClassroomBecome acquainted with these free curriculum kits and lessons to integrate media literacy within content already taught in the classroom. As you teach lessons found on the site, incorporate technology to enhance learning and build student understanding by using Word Ahead, reviewed here, or WordSift, reviewed here, to introduce and develop vocabulary as a prereading strategy or older students can use either as they are reading. Incorporate images with annotations to help students understand "big picture" ideas using Image Annotator, reviewed here. For younger students create a Image Annotator as a class to add text, video, and more to images. Ask older students to create their own Image Annotator sharing information learned throughout your lessons. Be sure to share all of your images on your class website for students to view at any time. To transform classroom technology use and as a culminating activity, use a digital book creation tool like Book Creator, reviewed here, as an alternative assessment to quizzes or tests. Include student-created writing, ThingLink images, and add videos with student commentary within each book. Be sure to provide students with your rubric to use as a guide before turning in digital books. Find many ideas for implementing rubrics for assessment along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue, reviewed here. Whether students work individually or in groups, be sure to share your new digital library related to your lesson topic with students to review and revisit at any time!
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 enhance 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 Zeemaps, reviewed here. This tool allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location on a map where the news report takes place.
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 (and engage their interest) in the small group by using a chat service like Flock, reviewed here. Enhance learning by challenging the small groups to create a slide presentation using the free Microsoft PowerPoint Online, reviewed here, demonstrating information learned. With the online PowerPoint 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. Enhance 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 enhance and extend their learning and develop a multimedia presention using Presentious, reviewed here, or an interactive poster with a tool like Genially, reviewed here, for one of the suggested Extension Activities.
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.
Grades4 to 8
In the ClassroomAt the beginning of the year, use the lessons included as a basis for developing a school digital citizenship program or even use with your own class. Use at a parents' informational night to describe the type of lessons that help address responsible digital citizens. Post a link on your class website for parents to view at home. Create a school mission statement regarding technology use or rules for technology. When doing research projects, be sure to review. If you want to use the Media Literacy YouTube videos, consider flipping your classroom (the blended learning technique) and having students to watch the videos residing on YouTube at home, you may want to use Edpuzzle, reviewed here, to add your own voice or add questions within the video and hold students accountable.
This is an articulate and smart program. The videos and materials support the three strands of digital citizenship: safety and security; literacy; and ethical and responsible use.Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12
Grades6 to 12
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomUse this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on finding credible sources. Share this tool on a projector or interactive whiteboard. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning about analyzing Internet resources (and even fake news) using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. You may want to share the Wikipedia and Snopes articles about the Tree Octopus. What a great creative writing idea this is! Have your students try their hand at something like this. Use one of the web page making tools reviewed by TeachersFirst here, to publish the creative writing assignments. Invite other classes to vote on the one they think is true.
I have used this site for years. It is well made and, once the students catch on, it provides the basis for great discussions and a lot of laughter. I also use the Dehydrated Water website where you, too can buy dehydrated water or, even buy a franchise to sell dehydrated water. My other favorite is Dog Island Free Forever where your dog can live stress free with other dogs without the stress that comes from living with humans.Sharon, PA, Grades: 0 - 8
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. Enhance student learning by having students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here. Perhaps show your students a sample infographic from the Resources menu at the top.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): media literacy (90)
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. Engage students by having them create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as WordItOut, reviewed here. Enhance learning by having students find examples on T.V. and use an online poster creator, such as PicLits, reviewed here to demonstrate examples. Give students a choice and have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Venngage, reviewed here, instead of the poster.
Grades9 to 12
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