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Media Literacy Lessons


Paying Attention to Technology: Writing Technology Autobiographies
In this lesson plan, students brainstorm lists of their interactions with technology, map these interactions graphically, and compose narratives of their significant interactions with technology.

Paying Attention to Technology: Exploring a Fictional Technology
Students complete a short survey to establish their beliefs about technology then compare their opinions to the ideas in a novel that depicts technology (such as 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, REM World, or Feed).

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words: From Image to Detailed Narrative
This lesson uses students’ understanding of graphic images to inspire written composition by asking students to brainstorm words and ideas about an image before writing a story that tells background on that image or extends details on what is depicted in the image.

Renaissance Humanism in Hamlet and The Birth of Venus
After reading Shakespeare’s Hamlet, students use visual and literary tools to identify, analyze, and explain how elements in Botticelli’s painting "The Birth of Venus" and examples from the play illustrate the philosophy of Renaissance Humanism.

Audio Listening Practices: Exploring Personal Experiences with Audio Texts
Students keep a daily diary that records how and when they listen to audio texts, such as radio, streaming media, songs on MP3 players, and podcasts, in order to explore the ways that audio texts play a role in their lives.

Literary Scrapbooks Online: An Electronic Reader-Response Project
Students create computer-based scrapbooks, using PowerPoint or a similar program, to extend their understanding of the concepts and ideas represented in a piece of literature.

Novel News: Broadcast Coverage of Character, Conflict, Resolution, and Setting
This twist on readers theatre invites students to prepare original news programs based on incidents in a recent reading.

Teaching the Epic through Ghost Stories
Our oral tradition of telling ghost stories, with which students are very familiar, builds a useful bridge to the oral tradition of the ancient epic narrators. In this lesson, students connect to epic storytellers by sharing their own oral tales of ghosts and goblins and monsters.

Exploring Satire with Shrek
After viewing an excerpt of the movie Shrek, students brainstorm fairy tale characteristics, identify the satirical techniques used to present them in the movie, then create their own satirical versions of fairy tales.

Exploring Satire with The Simpsons
In this lesson students identify the techniques of satire (exaggeration, incongruity, reversal, and parody) through an analysis of visual examples of the television show, The Simpsons, and from the show’s Web site.

Building Vietnam War Scavenger Hunts through Web-Based Inquiry
After or while reading any book about Vietnam, students research the effects of the war on a specific group of people who were involved (e.g., nurses, soldiers, protesters) using the Internet, then create Internet scavenger hunts that are then shared with the rest of the class.

Copyright Infringement or Not? The Debate Over Downloading Music
Students discuss their own experiences and conduct further research on the controversial topic of sharing music and other audio content on the Internet.

Inquiry on the Internet: Evaluating Web Pages for a Class Collection
In this lesson plan, students explore a class inquiry project, collecting and evaluating Web-based resources that can be used for further study during the course of the class or for more in-depth projects.

Argument, Persuasion, or Propaganda? Analyzing World War II Posters
In this lesson plan, students analyze World War II posters, chosen from online collections, to explore how argument, persuasion, and propaganda differ.

Audience, Purpose, and Language Use in Electronic Messages
This lesson explores the language of electronic messages and how it affects other writing.

Comic Makeovers: Examining Race, Class, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Media
In this lesson, students explore representations of race, class, ethnicity, and gender by analyzing comics over a two-week period and then re-envisioning them with a "comic character makeover."

Examining Transcendentalism through Popular Culture
Using excerpts from the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, comics, and songs from different musical genres, students examine the characteristics of transcendentalism.

Naming in a Digital World: Creating a Safe Persona on the Internet
In this lesson, students explore naming conventions in digital and non-digital settings then choose and explain specific names and profiles to represent themselves online.

Paying Attention to Technology: Reviewing a Technology
This lesson plan extends the kind of analytical thinking that students do when they compose book reviews by asking them to review a particular technology—anything from a cell phone to a webcam, or an ink pen to a satellite dish.

Propaganda Techniques in Literature and Online Political Ads
After reading or viewing a text, students are introduced to propaganda techniques and then identify examples in the text. After discussing these examples, students explore the use of propaganda in popular culture by looking at examples in the media.


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