Tips to make media literacy more relevant to students:
- Teach critical viewing: In your classes as you watch films or TV shows that pertain to your subject area don’t forget to spend time having students talk about the production values, the accuracy of the content, what the message is, who is the messenger, etc.
- Teach media literacy skills: Just as teachers are concerned with reading and writing literacy they must also be concerned with helping students become media literate. We do a grave disservice to our students if we do not “arm” them with skills to decipher media messages and better understand the impact and power of the media. It is an essential life-long learning skill.
- Teach ALL ages and grades to be media literate:In working with elementary schools on a media literacy/production project, presenters found that children as young as kindergarten wanted to talk about the media. In fact, they showed a hunger to discuss and make sense of what they were seeing and hearing on TV and in movies. Media literacy training should start in preschool or at least in kindergarten to insure that our children become critical viewers and thinkers of media.
- Incorporate media literacy into your curriculum: In most industrialized nations media literacy is a mandated curriculum in all K-12 schools. Canada has been teaching these skills for over 20 years. America is one of the only nations not addressing media literacy in a fundamental way.It can be incorporated in all subject areas and there are many excellent resources online for understanding the media and teaching media literacy.
- Organize an after school media awareness club:This is an excellent way to provide students with an opportunity to explore the media in many different ways. From viewing films from a critical point of view to creating a media critique column in the school newspaper, a club provides all kinds of learning opportunities in a fun setting.
- Talk to your librarians about providing media literacy resources: These educators are often just as interested in educating their students, and are willing to collaborate and can help bring innovative tools into the discussion.
- Create video/media production project opportunities in the classroom: This is an excellent way to teach the concepts of media literacy in a self-discovery, hands-on learning project. It also is a fun way for students to explore different content areas.
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Helpful media literacy resources recommended by AME:
- Education World: This website is a complete online resource that teachers, administrators and school staff can visit each day to find high-quality and in-depth original content.
- Ad Council: This organization identifies a select number of significant public issues and stimulate action on those issues through communications programs that make a measurable difference in society.
- Web English Teacher: Web English Teacher presents the best of K-12 English Language Arts teaching resources: lesson plans, videos, e-texts, technology integration, criticism, and classroom activities.
- PBS LearningMedia: This resource provides access to thousands of innovative, standards-aligned digital resources, compelling student experiences, and professional development opportunities.
- AdBusters: Since 1989, Adbusters Media Foundation has been the unwavering voice of dissent in a media landscape plagued by corporate interests. Adbusters is one of a handful of magazines around the world that is committed to an ad-free existence.
- ReadWriteThink: This organization provides educators, parents, and afterschool professionals with access to the highest quality practices in reading and language arts instruction by offering the very best in free materials. It partners with the International Literacy Association, the National Council of Teachers of English and the Verizon Foundation.
- KQED: Provides citizens with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions; convene community dialogue; bring the arts to everyone; and engage audiences to share their stories.
- The Learning Network: A New York Times blog dedicated to learning and education issues.
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Resources from national media literacy organization Media Literacy Now:
- #DigCit Utah: Digital Citizenship Resources Library. This curated library was created by EPIK Deliberate Digital as a free resource for school community councils, parents, educators, and administrators in response to digital citizenship legislation in Utah, and is open to anyone.
- Frank Baker’s Media Literacy Clearinghouse: Extensive database of classroom resources organized by medium, concept and teaching standard.
- Center on Media and Child Health :Lesson plan ideas around: Media Use, Body Image, Advertising, Nutrition, TV and Movies, Violence, Smoking
- Consortium for Media Literacy :MediaLit Moments – downloadable classroom activities
- Media Literacy Project : The project, based in New Mexico, offers free downloads of multimedia resources and handouts.
- Media Smarts:Free online Teacher resources and classroom tools from Canada’s Center for Digital and Media Literacy.
- NAMLE Resource Hub: National Association for Media Literacy Education resources, lesson plans and ideas submitted by members
- LAMP – Learning About Multimedia Project: The LAMPlatoon Media Breaker lets students comment on advertising by directly editing commercials.
- Project Look Sharp: Media Literacy initiative of Ithaca college offers free lesson plans and materials
- iCivics: Founded by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, improve civic knowledge and participation, includes a Media and Influence unit
- Spark Summit: Downloadable Media literacy curriculum for girls on media sexualization and becoming an activist.
- Powerful Voices for Kids: K-6 media literacy lesson ideas
- Humane Connection: Humane Education activity: What price beauty?
- The Critical Media Project: Media literacy and the politics of identity – resources for educators from USC Annenberg
- Rock Your World: Civic engagement around human rights issues: Curriculum includes research, and developing documentaries, PSAs, media campaigns. project of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.
- National Institutes of Health: US government agency NIH offers free materials focused on media and health and nutrition for 11 to 13 year old students through its Media-Smart Youth program
- Media Education Lab: Variety of Media Literacy resources for K-12 teachers from the University of Rhode Island Media Education Lab
- Cyberwise: Digital citizenship curriculum
- Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change: The Global Media Literacy lesson plans illuminate the connections between media literacy and civil society and teach students about the importance of exercising their human right to freedom of expression.
- Media Education Foundation: MEF offers resources that support the use of their films in a wide variety of venues and contexts.
- MissRepresentation.org: Lesson plans to go with the Miss Representation feature film, available free to public schools.
- Hardy Girl Healthy Woman: HGHW Curriculum and other resources.Project Girl curriculum and other resources.
- The News Literacy Project: Learn Channel: A collection of talks, lessons and other digital resources for 21st century learners
- Welcoming Schools: A project of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Resources include using books to look at gender stereotypes in grades 1-3 and examining gender roles in advertising for grades 4-5
- White Ribbon Week: One week sequence for elementary schools on internet safety, healthy online habits, critical thinking about media.
- Generation Citizen’s Educator Page: Offers an Action Civics course that includes media analysis and media production
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