Celebrating Good Ideas in Education
Lessons in Media Literacy
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This curriculum, Lessons in Media Literacy, is designed to provide children with the skills and understandings to elucidate the complex language framework and symbol systems conventionally employed by the media, especially television. Implementing this curriculum in schools will help children to better comprehend the more subtle socially and emotionally manipulative types of media messages. Furthermore, the children will learn to more critically evaluate commercial media messages and they will probably transfer their newly acquired knowledge and reading strategies to better comprehend persuasive written text.
A close association exists between reading comprehension and metalinguistic awareness and metacognition. Research indicates that through metalinguistic awareness and metacognition readers make transitions from lower levels of comprehension (literal interpretations) to higher levels (inferential and critical interpretations). By providing children with metalinguistic awareness and metacognitive skills, children will develop their own strategies and behaviors for problem solving as they engage in reading commercial media messages. As well, these children will use and adapt personal reading strategies to better comprehend messages written in text (Gathercoal, 1990).
Lessons in Media Literacy: Curriculum Outcomes.
Children who participate in Lessons in Media Literacy will learn to use new and more powerful ways of communicating by employing conventional visual and audio techniques to construct their own media messages. They will learn the value of using Close-ups to highlight emotion and/or important information when constructing sequences of shots, and the use of appropriate music and sound effects to create a certain mood. They will learn that constructing television messages takes considerably more preparation time than it takes simply to record the visuals and sound, and that television messages are composed of sequences of shots that are usually scripted and then recorded, shot by shot, over and over until the shots are near perfect as planned. All of these lessons and more will be taught using a methodology which acknowledges and values the student's culture and individuality; and practices the theory that children learn best when they are actively involved in the process of investigation.
Lessons in Media Literacy is an activity based approach to teaching and learning.
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