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The Roots of Democracy in the United States: Iroquois or Athens?

In this media literacy activity students analyze two videos for messages about the roots of U.S. democracy with the Native American Iroquois confederacy and historic Athenian democracy as points of reference.

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US History And Government, Global Studies, Sociology


Middle School, High School, College
Whole Class
15-30 Minutes

VIDEO, TEACHER GUIDE, ACTIVITY PLAN
Animated Film, Documentary Film, Television Program
Mp4, Pdf
Sox Sperry


When to Call a Lie a Lie – Media’s Responsibility to Hold Politicians Accountable

In this media literacy activity students analyze an article and a video news commentary from liberal and conservative media sources for messages about how the media responds to lies told by President Trump.

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English Language Arts, General Media And Information Literacy, Psychology, Journalism, US History And Government, Sociology


High School, College
Whole Class
30-60 Minutes

STUDENT HANDOUT, ACTIVITY PLAN, TEACHER GUIDE, VIDEO
Editorial Opinion, Magazine, News - Video, Television Program
Pdf, Mp4
Sox Sperry


Media, Politics and the Supreme Court

In this media literacy activity students analyze newspaper articles about the Supreme Court confirmation process for Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1993 and for Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 for messages about how political decisions influencing Supreme Court confirmation processes have changed with different historical contexts.

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Journalism, US History And Government, Sociology


High School, College
Whole Class
30-60 Minutes

STUDENT HANDOUT, ACTIVITY PLAN, TEACHER GUIDE
News - Print
Pdf
Sox Sperry


Polarized America: Political Conventions 2020

In this media literacy activity students analyze montages of clips from the 2020 Democratic and Republican conventions for messages about target audience and polarization of the electorate.

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Psychology, US History And Government, Sociology


Middle School, High School, College
Whole Class
15-30 Minutes

VIDEO, TEACHER GUIDE, ACTIVITY PLAN
Web Video, News - Video, Web Video
Mp4, Pdf
Sox Sperry


Media Representations of Working Class Men: Different Eras, Different Understandings

In this media literacy activity students analyze a portion of a mural from the 1930s and a clip from “The Simpsons” TV show from the 1990s for messages about media representation of working class men.

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Psychology, Visual Arts, Film/Video Arts, US History And Government, Economics, Sociology


Middle School, High School, College
Whole Class
15-30 Minutes

TEACHER GUIDE, VIDEO, POWERPOINT, ACTIVITY PLAN
Animated Film, Animated Film, Illustration, Television Program
Pdf, Mp4, Pptx
Sox Sperry


Internet Messages About Toys: What’s the Purpose?

In this media literacy activity, students analyze a toy commercial, an educational video and a clip from an animated film for messages about the purpose of media messages.

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English Language Arts, General Media And Information Literacy, Film/Video Arts, Commercial Arts/Advertising, Consumer Education, Economics


Lower Elementary
Whole Class
15-30 Minutes

VIDEO, TEACHER GUIDE, ACTIVITY PLAN
Animated Film, Web Video, Television Commercial, Animated Film, Television Commercial, Web Video
Mp4, Pdf
Sox Sperry

Media Bias Charts: Who’s Rating What?

In this media literacy activity students analyze 4 charts on the political bias of different news sources with background information on the authors and methodology for each chart, to reflect on credibility, political bias in the media, the student’s own confirmation biases, and extremist views on the Internet.

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General Media And Information Literacy, Journalism, Consumer Education, Sociology


High School, College
Whole Class
30-60 Minutes

TEACHER GUIDE, STUDENT HANDOUT, ACTIVITY PLAN
Chart/graph, Informational Text
Pdf
Sox Sperry


Greta Meets Malala: How Different Media Forms Present the News

In this media literacy activity students analyze media reports on the meeting between Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai. In addition to learning about the two young activists, students reflect on the qualities of different media forms including news and opinion articles, a tweet and posts on Instagram and Facebook.

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English Language Arts, General Media And Information Literacy, Journalism, Environmental Studies, Global Studies, Sociology


Middle School, High School, College
Whole Class
30-60 Minutes

TEACHER GUIDE, ACTIVITY PLAN, STUDENT HANDOUT
Editorial Opinion, News - Print, Photograph, Social Media
Pdf
Sox Sperry


Blowing the Whistle On Big Tobacco Propaganda

In this media literacy activity students analyze a cigarette ad, an excerpt from an investigative documentary, a clip from a TV news program and a clip from a dramatic feature film for messages about the tobacco industry’s efforts to mislead the public about the health consequences of smoking.

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Health, Psychology, Film/Video Arts, Commercial Arts/Advertising, Journalism, Consumer Education, Economics, Sociology


Middle School, High School, College
Whole Class
30-60 Minutes

TEACHER GUIDE, ACTIVITY PLAN, VIDEO
Documentary Film, Feature Film, News - Video, Television Commercial, Television Program, Web Video
Pdf, Mp4
Sox Sperry


Understanding Teen Media Use: Different Research Techniques

In this media literacy activity students analyze three articles about different approaches to social science research through polling data analysis, a longitudinal study and a literature review. Students explore the techniques used for data gathering and discuss the impacts of social media use on adolescents.

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Health, General Media And Information Literacy, Psychology, Journalism, Consumer Education, Sociology


High School, College
Whole Class
30-60 Minutes

TEACHER GUIDE, STUDENT HANDOUT, ACTIVITY PLAN
Informational Text, Social Media, Webpage
Pdf
Sox Sperry


Techniques of Persuasion: Smoking, Vaping and Health

In this media literacy activity students analyze commercials and PSAs related to smoking and vaping for messages about purpose, technique and target audience.

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Health, General Media And Information Literacy, Film/Video Arts, Commercial Arts/Advertising, Consumer Education, Sociology


Middle School
Whole Class
15-30 Minutes

VIDEO, ACTIVITY PLAN, TEACHER GUIDE
Web Video, Television Commercial
Mp4, Pdf
Sox Sperry


Presidential Photo-Op and Political Protest: Who’s Telling the Story?

In this media literacy activity students analyze and compare a short video produced by the White House and a longer news report by MSNBC on President Trump’s photo-op in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church on June 1, 2020 during nationwide protests against police brutality and racism.

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General Media And Information Literacy, Film/Video Arts, Journalism, US History And Government, Sociology


High School, College
Whole Class
15-30 Minutes

VIDEO, ACTIVITY PLAN, TEACHER GUIDE
News - Video, Television Program, Web Video
Mp4, Pdf
Sox Sperry


Covering Black Lives Matter: Front Page Constructions

In this media literacy activity students analyze newspaper front pages for messages about media representation of nationwide protests following the murder of George Floyd.

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English Language Arts, General Media And Information Literacy, Journalism, US History And Government, Sociology


Middle School, High School, College
Whole Class
15-30 Minutes

ACTIVITY PLAN, POWERPOINT, TEACHER GUIDE
News - Print, Photograph
Pdf, Pptx
Sox Sperry


Carbon Sequestration: Solutions to Climate Change

In this media literacy activity students analyze videos for messages about the effectiveness of different carbon sequestration solutions in reversing the impacts of greenhouse gas releases on climate change.

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Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Environmental Studies


High School, College
Whole Class
30-60 Minutes

VIDEO, ACTIVITY PLAN, TEACHER GUIDE
Web Video
Mp4, Pdf
Sox Sperry


Fighting Back Against Religious Intolerance

In this media literacy activity students analyze videos for messages about how young people challenge religious intolerance.

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Health, Psychology, Film/Video Arts, Global Studies, Sociology


Upper Elementary, Middle School, High School, College
Whole Class
30-60 Minutes

VIDEO, ACTIVITY PLAN, TEACHER GUIDE
Web Video, Animated Film, News - Video, Television Program, Web Video
Mp4, Pdf
Sox Sperry, Olivia Wiese


Conspiracy Theories About COVID-19: Who’s Selling? Who’s Buying?

In this media literacy activity students analyze media documents that allege conspiracies related to the coronavirus. Students then analyze media messages for credibility and reflect on their own biases in interpreting conspiracy theories.

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Health, General Media And Information Literacy, Psychology, Journalism, Consumer Education, Sociology


Middle School, High School, College
Individual, Group - Small (3-5 Members), Whole Class
30-60 Minutes

TEACHER GUIDE, STUDENT HANDOUT, ACTIVITY PLAN
Magazine, News - Print, Social Media, Webpage
Pdf
Sox Sperry


Faces of COVID-19 – Artists as Activists

In this media literacy activity students analyze short videos about the human faces of COVID-19 for messages about how artists work to humanize the pandemic.

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Health, Psychology, Visual Arts, Film/Video Arts, Journalism, Sociology


Middle School, High School, College
Whole Class
15-30 Minutes

VIDEO, ACTIVITY PLAN, TEACHER GUIDE
Web Video, Documentary Film, News - Video, Photograph, Television Program, Web Video
Mp4, Pdf
Sox Sperry


The Death of Kobe Bryant: How Viral Media Spreads Misinformation

In this media literacy activity students analyze screen grabs from a YouTube page, a Facebook post, a network news video page and online headlines, photos and captions for messages about credibility of Internet news reporting.

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General Media And Information Literacy, Journalism, Consumer Education, Sociology


Middle School, High School, College
Whole Class
15-30 Minutes

TEACHER GUIDE, POWERPOINT, ACTIVITY PLAN
News - Print, Photograph, Social Media, Webpage
Pdf, Pptx
Sox Sperry


Confirmation Bias, Coronavirus and the 2020 Presidential Campaign

In this media literacy activity students analyze the credibility of a controversial pro-Biden political ad attacking President Trump on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, a tweet in response by Trump War Room, and an article from the fact-checking website Politifact about the controversy. Students then analyze their own confirmation bias as they reflect on how they evaluate the credibility of sources on political issues.

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General Media And Information Literacy, Commercial Arts/Advertising, Journalism, Consumer Education, US History And Government, Sociology


High School, College
Whole Class
15-30 Minutes

VIDEO, STUDENT HANDOUT, ACTIVITY PLAN, TEACHER GUIDE
Web Video, Informational Text, Social Media, Television Commercial, Webpage, Web Video
Mp4, Pdf
Sox Sperry


Time Magazine’s Person of the Year – How Selections Change Over Time

In this media literacy activity students compare Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” covers from 1965-1969 and 2015-2019 for messages about historical context in judgments of who is important across a half century.

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General Media And Information Literacy, Visual Arts, Commercial Arts/Advertising, Journalism, US History And Government, Global Studies, Sociology


Middle School, High School, College
Whole Class
15-30 Minutes

ACTIVITY PLAN, POWERPOINT, TEACHER GUIDE
Illustration, Photograph
Pdf, Pptx
Sox Sperry