TeachersFirst's Media Literacy

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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.

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News and Media Literacy Resource Center - Common Sense Media

Grades
6 to 12
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This collection of vetted resources provides activities and lessons for current news and social discussion topics. In addition to materials found for specific lessons, scroll further...more
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This collection of vetted resources provides activities and lessons for current news and social discussion topics. In addition to materials found for specific lessons, scroll further down the page to find curated collections for news and literacy, media literacy, and social and cultural literacy. Each collection includes regularly updated resources specially chosen to reinforce and practice each literacy skill. Pay particular attention to activities with a green heart icon; these are the site's favorite resources.

tag(s): journalism (70), media literacy (87), news (260), social media (43)

In the Classroom

Bookmark 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.
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Advertising Game - FunEnglishGames.com

Grades
4 to 7
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This game teaches you how to create brochures that captivate and grab the attention of readers through the effective use of content and imagery. Begin by choosing a theme for ...more
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This game teaches you how to create brochures that captivate and grab the attention of readers through the effective use of content and imagery. Begin by choosing a theme for your advertisement and follow the prompts to make selections for the best use of titles, text, and images. If you select the wrong option, the game provides feedback on why it isn't the best choice for creating the most effective advertisement.

tag(s): advertising (35), media literacy (87)

In the Classroom

Use this game to help students understand the different components of effective advertising, then apply this knowledge to any project involving images and text. Engage students by beginning with a simple voting tool like Dotstorming, reviewed here. Dotstorming offers a voting tool that includes images and comments. Share different advertising images with students on this tool and have students vote on the most effective design and share comments on why this is their selection. Have students locate online advertising that fits into different categories (appeal to senses, emotion, etc.) and share it on Padlet, reviewed here. Use the column feature in Padlet for students to separate information into the various categories. Enhance student learning by asking students to become the teacher and create a screencast using Free Screen Recorder Online, reviewed here, to share tips and secrets for creating effective digital advertisements. Once students have learned about different features of effective advertising, extend learning by asking them to use their skills to create their own flyer using a graphic design tool like Canva, reviewed here. Use Canva to create book covers for novels, flyers to advertise upcoming historic events, or as an announcement of their latest scientific discovery.
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Advertising All Around Us - MediaSmarts

Grades
5 to 8
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This lesson provided by MediaSmarts for grades 5 and 6 provides instruction in the different techniques employed by advertisers and the impact it has on students' daily lives. Download...more
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This lesson provided by MediaSmarts for grades 5 and 6 provides instruction in the different techniques employed by advertisers and the impact it has on students' daily lives. Download the lesson kit through the link to the PDF document. The activities focus on three concepts - media construct reality, representation, and audience.

tag(s): advertising (35), media literacy (87)

In the Classroom

Take 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 ThingLink, 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.
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NewsFeed Defenders - FactCheck.org

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn how to find and deal with disinformation and misinformation through this news media literacy game. Players find and identify factual portions of a news story along with misinformation....more
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Learn how to find and deal with disinformation and misinformation through this news media literacy game. Players find and identify factual portions of a news story along with misinformation. Begin by choosing a topic of interest to start your mission. Your goal is to build up your integrity as much as possible throughout the game. Login to your free teacher account to access and print lesson plans and the teacher extension pack.

tag(s): journalism (70), media literacy (87), news (260)

In the Classroom

Include 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 (Chrome and iPad app). 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.
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Bad News - Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab and DROG

Grades
5 to 12
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How bad can you be? This game teaches you how fake news and disinformation spreads as players take on the role of the bad guy to acquire as many followers ...more
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How bad can you be? This game teaches you how fake news and disinformation spreads as players take on the role of the bad guy to acquire as many followers as possible while raising their credibility ratings. Follow the prompts and make selections on how to spread disinformation and take advantage of others' fears and emotions as you proceed through the game. As you make choices, watch how that affects the number of your followers and learn how to use celebrity and fear to influence others. Throughout the game, players earn up to six badges recognizing accomplishments such as impersonation and emotion.

tag(s): digital citizenship (78), game based learning (160), internet safety (120), media literacy (87), social media (43)

In the Classroom

This 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.

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Project Look Sharp - Project Look Sharp, Ithaca College

Grades
K to 12
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Project Look Sharp promotes media literacy education and critical thinking skills through the offering of curriculum kits for classrooms in grades K-12. The free kits include teacher...more
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Project Look Sharp promotes media literacy education and critical thinking skills through the offering of curriculum kits for classrooms in grades K-12. The free kits include teacher guides, handouts, assessments, and correlating digital media. Browse through all available kits, or filter by grade level or Common Core Standard. Each kit is available for download in its entirety or download individual lessons as desired; registration is required. Lesson contents cover a variety of topics including Global Warming, Presidential Campaigns, and Social Justice. Be sure to look through other sections of the site including professional development information and links to handouts from Project Look Sharp's presentations.

tag(s): american revolution (88), climate change (71), critical thinking (119), environment (296), martin luther king (34), media literacy (87), middle east (44), nutrition (167), OER (33), presidents (130), russia (36), social media (43)

In the Classroom

Become 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. Use Vocabulary.com, reviewed here, to introduce and develop vocabulary during individual activities. This tool allows you to enhance classroom technology use and create assignments using individual vocabulary lists then provide feedback and options for student revisions and peer feedback. Incorporate images with annotations to help students understand "big picture" ideas using ThingLink, reviewed here. For younger students create a ThingLink together as a class to add text, video, and more to images. Ask older students to create their own ThingLink 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!
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Connections Newsletters - Consortium for Media Literacy

Grades
K to 12
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The Consortium for Media Literacy provides this collection of archived newsletters for teachers, parents, administrators, and others involved with education. Each issue is based on...more
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The Consortium for Media Literacy provides this collection of archived newsletters for teachers, parents, administrators, and others involved with education. Each issue is based on a monthly theme and includes teaching ideas related to the subject along with research highlights and additional resources. Select the latest issue with the provided link or scroll through the archives listed in alphabetical order to find topics of interest. Sample topics include Cell Phones as Learning Tools and Parents and Media Literacy.

tag(s): internet safety (120), media literacy (87), professional development (261)

In the Classroom

Use 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.
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OK2Ask: Fostering Accountability: Media Literacy in the Classroom - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from October 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. As digital media increasingly replaces traditional media, students must have...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from October 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. As digital media increasingly replaces traditional media, students must have the skills to think critically about these new types of texts. Media literacy - the ability to skillfully read and write in a wide range of message forms - allows students to identify themes and issues emerging from popular culture. Media literacy standards have been incorporated across content areas and grade levels in all 50 states. Join us to learn more about this information age survival skill and how to prepare lessons in time for media literacy week. Participants will: 1. Understand the importance of teaching media literacy in the classroom; 2. Explore media literacy resources; and 3. Learn to use the 5 key questions of media literacy when planning lessons. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): digital citizenship (78), media literacy (87)

In the Classroom

The 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.
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KQED Media Literacy Courses - KQED Teach

Grades
K to 12
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KQED offers several free, self-paced courses for expanding media literacy skills. The first course begins with an introduction to the KQED teach and an overview of the platform used...more
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KQED offers several free, self-paced courses for expanding media literacy skills. The first course begins with an introduction to the KQED teach and an overview of the platform used for each of the courses. Topics include Taking Charge of Social Media, Media Essentials, and Video Storytelling Essentials. Choose any course description to view what is included in the modules and lessons in addition to the length of time to complete. All courses include interaction with an online community to share and learn together.

tag(s): professional development (261)

In the Classroom

Gain 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.

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Glean - Digital Literacy Teaching Tools - The Public Learning Media Laboratory

Grades
6 to 12
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Small but mighty, this site has several lesson plans for the digital classroom. Use, share, and help create digital literacy lesson plans using Google Docs at Glean. Also, use the ...more
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Small but mighty, this site has several lesson plans for the digital classroom. Use, share, and help create digital literacy lesson plans using Google Docs at Glean. Also, use the hashtag #lessonhack on Twitter to follow the development of ideas and the lessons. Use the drop-down menu for Lessons to view plans for Media, Data, Information, Network Literacy, and also find Security and Privacy lessons. Find plans already created that include, To Teach Memes, Teaching Media Making, Terms of Service, and there are several others about the Internet and IPs. One lesson on Safer Sexting states, "This is not intended to condone sexting; rather it is designed to provide young people (at risk through their sexting behavior) with digital literacies and personal practices to mitigate negative impacts of the sexting they've done."

tag(s): computers (109), digital citizenship (78), internet safety (120), media literacy (87)

In the Classroom

Computer 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.

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Making a Change: The First Amendment and the Civil Rights Movement - NewseumED

Grades
8 to 12
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Explore how the First Amendment influenced the Civil Rights Movement through this collection of resources from Newseum. The collection includes three teaching units with topics of Historical...more
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Explore how the First Amendment influenced the Civil Rights Movement through this collection of resources from Newseum. The collection includes three teaching units with topics of Historical Connections, Media Literacy, and Civics & Citizenship. In addition, an interactive timeline beginning in 1791 demonstrates the Civil Rights journey. A Google Civil Rights map includes links to important American newspapers and their coverage of civil rights events and leaders. Be sure to sign up for your free NewseumED account for complete access to all materials.

tag(s): black history (77), civil rights (142), constitution (92), journalism (70), media literacy (87), newspapers (98)

In the Classroom

Use 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.
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Believe It or Not? - NewseumED

Grades
8 to 12
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Use the lessons, discussion questions, and news articles provided by NewseumEd to help young adults understand what media literacy is and to tell the difference between good and bad...more
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Use the lessons, discussion questions, and news articles provided by NewseumEd to help young adults understand what media literacy is and to tell the difference between good and bad information. Though the lessons seem to center around a visit to Newseum and their galleries, there is a lot to be learned just by examining and discussing the materials presented here. There are discussion questions, media issues to think about, suggested in-class activities, and worksheets. Find a Unit plan with lessons that are standards aligned and Common Core compatible. The Unit plan and worksheets are available in both PDF and Word document formats. You must be a registered NewseumEd member to access this resource; however, membership is free.

tag(s): media literacy (87), news (260)

In the Classroom

Take 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. 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.
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NewseumED - NewseumED.org

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6 to 12
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Make history relevant to the world today and learn more about First Amendment issues at the same time. Find lesson plans, a multimedia collection of primary sources and artifacts, interactive...more
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Make history relevant to the world today and learn more about First Amendment issues at the same time. Find lesson plans, a multimedia collection of primary sources and artifacts, interactive tools, and worksheets. These are searchable by type, topic, and time-period. The focus of the lessons is historical connections, media literacy, and civics and citizenship. There are several EdCollections with titles like "Election 2016: Stumped!?," "Making a Change," "Women, Their Rights and Nothing Less," and "Freedom in the Balance." The latter focuses on teaching and learning about 9/11 and the attacks in Paris, France 2015, and adhering to the First Amendment freedoms and concerns for safety and the public good. All of this is free with an email sign up. Check back frequently to see NewseumEd's newest EdCollections.

tag(s): civil rights (142), elections (73), freedom of speech (12), media literacy (87), politics (106), primary sources (100), terrorism (44), terrorist (16)

In the Classroom

If 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 Genial.ly, reviewed here, for one of the suggested Extension Activities.
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Youth Radio - National Science Foundation

Grades
8 to 12
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Youth Radio offers training and resources for students to learn how to produce marketable media for large audiences. Listen to student podcasts created through the tutelage of Youth...more
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Youth Radio offers training and resources for students to learn how to produce marketable media for large audiences. Listen to student podcasts created through the tutelage of Youth Radio mentors. Features include discussions on current events, tech, health, and much more. Choose the menu bar on the top left to find many free lessons on how to use storytelling resources. These excellent lessons include videos and links to all printable materials required for teaching the lesson. The Creative Studio link features podcasts allowing young students to share their feelings, explore their passions, and build connections through creative projects. Preview topics before you share as some many not be appropriate for your classroom, depending on the age and maturity level of your students.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), journalism (70), media literacy (87), podcasts (62), radio (26)

In the Classroom

Share 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 Story Map, reviewed here. They will also need to develop a script and practice. Try using Google Docs, reviewed here, for students to write collaboratively.

Comments

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

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Media History Digital Library - Media History Digital Library

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6 to 12
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Come to the Media History Digital Library to find digitized classic media periodicals available from the public domain. All of the collections pertain to the cinema, broadcasting, and...more
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Come to the Media History Digital Library to find digitized classic media periodicals available from the public domain. All of the collections pertain to the cinema, broadcasting, and sound. Periodicals such as Business Screen, Pictures and Story Magazine, Motion Picture Classics, and Radio Age have at least a five-year spread of content. Over 100 other periodicals are featured. When selecting a periodical, you may choose to read, download, or go directly to the site. Join the blog to discover recent additions, scholarship opportunities, events, and more.

tag(s): art history (80), media literacy (87), multimedia (51)

In the Classroom

Use 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.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Teaching Digital Citizenship - Cable Impacts

Grades
4 to 8
5 Favorites 1  Comments
    
Find ready to use standards-based lessons that teach digital citizenship for grades 4-8. Lesson topics are categorized into two groups (Communication and Collaboration, Digital Citizenship),...more
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Find ready to use standards-based lessons that teach digital citizenship for grades 4-8. Lesson topics are categorized into two groups (Communication and Collaboration, Digital Citizenship), and include Privacy, Media Literacy, Cyberbullying, Copyright, Information Literacy, and more. Integrate these digital citizenship lessons into the content area subjects: ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Most lessons start with a video for the adult and also have a video for the student. Download videos in a variety of formats (mp4, WMV, MOV) or copy the link provided. The Media Literacy lessons have several examples of advertisement videos that use YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. Under Tools and Resources, slide down to Digital Citizenship Survey; scroll down that page to find a professional development webinar that hosts a middle school teacher discussing digital citizenship.

tag(s): copyright (50), cyberbullying (48), digital citizenship (78), media literacy (87), plagiarism (35)

In the Classroom

At 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.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

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

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Ask for Evidence - askforevidence.org

Grades
8 to 12
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Ask for Evidence steps in to find the facts behind product claims. Browse through stories for information on questions such as "Should we be Worried about 'Dirty' Stethoscopes?" or...more
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Ask for Evidence steps in to find the facts behind product claims. Browse through stories for information on questions such as "Should we be Worried about 'Dirty' Stethoscopes?" or "Claims about Cancer Fighting Foods." Create an account to ask your own questions. Be sure to view the "Understand Evidence" part of the site to find invaluable resources about how to find and understand reliable evidence. The site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from American English. Note: topics included may not all be classroom appropriate. Select and share specific articles if you are sharing this site with young people.

tag(s): advertising (35), critical thinking (119), evaluating sources (17), media literacy (87), politics (106), questioning (36)

In the Classroom

Use 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.

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Media Smarts - Canada's Centre for Digital and Media Literacy

Grades
6 to 12
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Media Smarts is a comprehensive Canadian site devoted to media literacy and critical thinking skills for children and youth. Browse through several topics such as digital and media...more
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Media Smarts is a comprehensive Canadian site devoted to media literacy and critical thinking skills for children and youth. Browse through several topics such as digital and media literacy to explore articles related to television, Internet, and gender issues. An extensive teacher resource section offers many lessons and resources searchable by grade, subject, and media type. Download lessons in PDF format using links in the lesson description.

tag(s): media literacy (87)

In the Classroom

Bookmark 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.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Honest Slogans - What People Really Think - Cliff Dickens

Grades
9 to 12
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Honest Slogans takes company slogans, adds a little twist, and creates new advertising images. These new slogans poke fun using a company's own logo and brands. Scroll through the many...more
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Honest Slogans takes company slogans, adds a little twist, and creates new advertising images. These new slogans poke fun using a company's own logo and brands. Scroll through the many pages to view images similar to the company's advertising but with a slightly different punch line that tells what people really think about the product. For example, see the Hallmark Cards logo stating "When you care enough to give a card mass-produced by a corporation." Each slogan includes a link for viewing notes shared by others. Please take caution in sharing these with students as they are unmoderated. Not all topics are appropriate for students (for example, alcohol).
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): advertising (35), media literacy (87)

In the Classroom

Use Honest Slogans as part of a truth in advertising lesson. Share examples with students and have them create their own Honest Slogans for different brands. Use this site as the inspiration for creating new book covers for classic literature or as an introduction to a social studies chapter or math unit. Create "honest" ads in a new language in your world language class. The ideas are endless! Use an online poster creator, such as Padlet, reviewed here, to create and display finished products.

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All About Explorers - All About Explorers

Grades
5 to 8
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It's true! I saw it on the Internet! Sadly, too many students fall into this trap. All About Explorers was developed by a team of teachers to help late elementary ...more
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It's true! I saw it on the Internet! Sadly, too many students fall into this trap. All About Explorers was developed by a team of teachers to help late elementary school and middle school students sort the garbage from the gold on the Internet. Despite the name of the site, it's not really about explorers at all. In fact, all the biographies of the (very real) explorers on this site are fictional. Teachers can use the site in two ways: The "Treasure Hunt" section allows students to compare the biography on the All About Explorers site with a linked biography on a "real" site and asks them to compare the two and draw conclusions. Alternatively, there is a more comprehensive Web Quest section that allows for a more complete and lengthy lesson with the same object.

tag(s): explorers (71), internet safety (120), media literacy (87), webquests (27)

In the Classroom

The trick in using All About Explorers is to keep the real lesson a secret at the beginning and allow students to come to their own conclusion. Processing that "aha!" moment when students recognize that there is a hidden agenda here will have a much more lasting impression than simply telling students they cannot believe everything they read. Deep inside, students often believe they can easily tell the difference between the Truth and something that is misleading or downright false. All About Explorers will help them see how difficult that can be. They might also learn something about explorers in the process! Extend this lesson by having student groups find another suspect site and create a screencast of that "suspicious" site, pointing out characteristics that indicate an unreliable source. A tool such as Screencast-o-matic, reviewed here, or Screencastify (Chrome app), reviewed here, will allow them to create a "tour" of the fallacies they find.

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