Instructional Strategies

Teachers can incorporate media literacy concepts and activities into language arts, social studies, health, science and fine arts subjects. This activities and readings provided in the ASSIGNMENT: MEDIA LITERACY curriculum work best if you keep in mind the following ideas about effective instructional strategies in media literacy education:

Creating Media Messages

Media literacy is more than just analyzing media messages—it’s learning to create them as well. Each of the units in ASSIGNMENT: MEDIA LITERACY includes a Production Activity. These assignments are designed to involve students in creating complex real-world media messages. Some of these activities are best accomplished by individual work, and other activities work best as small group projects. You’ll see that each activity lists a checklist for students to use in completing the activity and an evaluation rubric that identifies the qualities that students should strive to include in their messages. You may want to use the evaluation rubric yourself or ask students to complete this for peer evaluation or self-evaluation when their projects are completed. Production activities are a valuable component of the total learning experience.

Promoting Meaningful Discussion

Students are aware that adults and teachers watch different kinds of TV shows, read different magazines, and use the internet. Students may have expectations about how teachers will respond to their media use—some students fear that teachers will demean or trivialize their interests in certain kinds of TV shows, web sites, musicians and movies. They may be aware of some beliefs or attitudes that teachers and adults have about the media and attempt to imitate those attitudes. To explore media issues in an authentic way, students need to feel “safe” in sharing their genuine pleasures and dissatisfactions with media and technology. You can support this by providing a balance of both support for students’ ideas and observations and questions that provide insight on your interpretation of media messages. This blend of support and challenge helps deepen the level of discussion.  

Supporting Critical Reading Skills

The reproducible activity sheets help students to strengthen their reading and problem-solving skills. You can make use of a variety of different methods of eliciting student responses to enhance reading skill development. You may want to use read-aloud with whole group discussion. You may want to ask students to read and then invite them to complete the activities or discuss the questions in a small group. You may want to check on students’ reading comprehension by asking them to summarize the arguments they encounter in the readings. You may want to have students identify the point of view of the writers, critically analyze the arguments presented, and provide your own interpretation and point of view about the issues explored in this curriculum.

Encouraging Collaborative Problem Solving

Many of the activities involve students in small group problem-solving. You can maximize the instructional value of these activities by ensuring that all students are clear about the task and the deadline. Students work best in groups when they have clearly defined roles, and you may find that it’s effective for you to assign the roles of taskmaster, time-keeper, scribe, and researcher. Some roles for the media production activities may include director, talent, technology manager, writer and graphic designer. 

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