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.
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.
Grades4 to 7
In the ClassroomUse 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.
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 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.
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 (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.
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 (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 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. 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!
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 (261)
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 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. 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. 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): media literacy (87)
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.
Grades9 to 12
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