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Guides by Subjects/Grades

See brief introductions to Project Look Sharp’s free lessons & PD resources for different subjects areas and levels, including our most recent lessons. Consider sending these links to your colleagues.

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Stand-Alone Lessons

Our flexible, classroom ready lessons all use rich media documents for question-based decoding that teaches core standards and habits of questioning.

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Subject Area Kits

These kits include multiple lessons that can be taught in a unit. They’re designed to help integrate media analysis into specific subject content instruction.

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Featured Topics

Our collections highlight topics that we have been particularly focused on such as: Media Bias & Credibility, Social Justice, and Sustainability

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Search our extensive collection of free media literacy lessons

Tip: Put Phrases in "Quotes"

Our free media literacy materials are:

Media Rich
With diverse documents that engage students
Developmentally Appropriate
Sorted by grade level and applicable for all students, especially non-print learners, Special Ed, and ESOL
Can be used in one class, in units, or across the curriculum
Educator Driven
Designed by experts and tested by teachers and librarians
School Aligned
Tied to core content and standards
To deepen students’ understanding of the content you already teach

Check Out Our Newest Lessons

African and Free – Maroon Resistance in the Americas

Students analyze videos produced by and about people of the African diaspora in the Americas for messages about representations of their peoples' freedom, resistance, and ties to Africa.

Grade Level: Middle School, High School, College
Subject: Film/Video Arts, Environmental Studies, US History And Government, Global Studies, Sociology, ELA/English Language Arts

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Indigenous Representations of Cultural Pride and Resilience

Students analyze videos produced by Native Americans (Inuit, Haudenosaunee, Hopi and Hawaiian) for messages about the contributions and resilience of Indigenous nations and peoples.

Grade Level: Middle School, High School, College
Subject: Student Media Production, Film/Video Arts, Environmental Studies, US History And Government, Global Studies, Sociology, ELA/English Language Arts

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The History of Cigarette Commercials: Issues of Persuasion and Regulation

Students analyze 3 TV commercials and a PSA for cigarettes from the 1950s-1960s to assess marketing techniques, health messages and gender stereotypes, and then read about and discuss the 1970 congressional ban on cigarette advertising on television.

Grade Level: High School, College
Subject: Health, Psychology, Commercial Arts/Advertising, Consumer Education, US History And Government, Sociology, General Media Literacy, ELA/English Language Arts

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See an Activity in Action!

In this demonstration video, experienced educator, Chris Sperry, leads students in applying content knowledge about US wars in Vietnam, the Gulf and Afghanistan to the critical analysis of Newsweek Magazine covers through asking questions tied to lesson objectives.

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Educator Developed, Standards-Aligned

Common Core

All our materials are linked to specific Common Core standards so that teachers can choose particular media decoding activities and lessons for teaching to specific standards and grade levels.

Social Studies

The new C3 standards require a shift to inquiry-based methodologies that teach students to ask questions, evaluate sources, provide evidence, and communicate well-reasoned conclusions. The National Council for the Social Studies recent Position Paper on Media Literacy, co-authored by Project Look Sharp, illustrates how our materials and training address the shifts in pedagogy and instruction proposed by C3.

Reading in History & Science

These standards require the integration of literacy skills into content area instruction. This has been our focus for over 20 years!


The new Next Generation standards emphasize the integration of critical thinking and literacy skills with core content instruction. Our approach, as outlined in this Science Scope article, requires students to apply scientific knowledge to the critical analysis of diverse and often conflicting representations of scientific information and to reflect on how their own biases impact their interpretation of information and assessment of the credibility of sources.


These standards require teaching students to analyze and evaluate ALL media messages - in print, web sites, popular culture, entertainment, music and more. Use the Key Questions to Ask When Analyzing Media Messages to integrate the habits of critical thinking across the curriculum.


  • "Media Construction of Presidential [Campaigns] is a brilliant teaching tool that empowers students to understand how our electoral system actually works in the era of big media. Very professional and engaging, this is media literacy at its very best, and should be mandatory in classrooms across the nation."

    -- Robert W. McChesney, media critic and professor of communication

  • “The true success lies in providing students with the skills to become more critical and independent users of information. The students loved the document decoding and became quite adept at analyzing and verbalizing what they discovered about the documents. ”

    -- High School Librarian

  • “As a new teacher, I have found that these lesson plans really help me shape and structure my curriculum in creative and engaging ways. These lesson plans often work really well as introductions to key themes and ideas that are explored through the rest of the unit. By doing these lessons at the beginning of a literary unit, I often catch the attention of my visual learners who struggle with abstract themes and ideas in the texts we read. I have noticed that students often refer back to these lessons as we continue to work through a certain play or novel. Indeed, the lesson plans clearly encourage students to develop close reading habits in their daily lives."

    -- Secondary English Teacher

  • “It is very generous of you to gift honed course materials that have been developed throughout your career. It shows true dedication to your profession and a deep commitment to advancing the quality of education for all students. I am blown away by how hard you (and your team) have worked and how effortlessly you share with other educators. You are an inspiration!"

    -- High School Administrator

  • “I’ll tell you what – whoever put that Project Look Sharp together must be both brilliant and exhausted . . . that’s among the most impressive teaching materials I’ve seen in 19 years! Kudos to them!!! "

    -- National Media Literacy Educator

Have you used any of our curriculum in your classroom
Would you like to see any particular materials created or collaborate on an initiative?

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