media literacy

How to teach media literacy


Learning to decipher real news from fake news is more important than ever before

If students move from being content consumers to content creators, they can better understand the choices made by the media and why. One activity teachers may try is to have students become costume designers of movie characters and explain why they dressed the character as they did, based on a close reading of a portion of a script. In another activity, students can use various sources to find news stories, write scripts, and present the news to their class or school. This gives them perspective as to why certain stories get broadcasted while others don’t. By creating and sharing their own content, they can begin to understand what they encounter in the media every day.

Students hear and see things in their community outside of school, so collaborating with families is essential. “[Parents’] attitudes about learning, reading, literacy, and media impact their children much more than any of the work we’re doing in school,” said Moran. Bring parents into school and talk with them about the conversations they can have with their children on the importance of media literacy.

Teaching media literacy should become a routine part of the day. Plan ahead and embed lessons and skills into the lessons you’re already teaching. By providing students with the tools they need and teaching the right skills regularly, students can develop strategies to identify reliable media sources on their own.

About the Presenter

Susannah Moran is the senior project manager for myON. She began her career as a New York City English teacher and literacy specialist. In 2001, she joined a staff development company, TechKNOW Associates, where she worked as a mentor and professional developer for schools throughout New York and around the country. She has worked in hundreds of schools, integrating technology into teaching and learning and providing onsite support for teachers. Moran has worked with myON for the past four years, providing workshops and push-in support, managing pilot programs, and developing project-based learning curriculums.

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