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Incorporating Media Literacy Education into Social Studies Classrooms

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1 Learning Outcomes

The purpose of this course is to aid social studies teachers in incorporating Media Literacy Education (MLE) into their practice. Participants of this course will use verbal information, intellectual skills, and a positive attitude during the learning process.

2 Needs Assessment

1. Intent: Comprehending various forms of media occurs in social studies classrooms frequently. The process numerous educators have in place is falling short of its capabilities. In order to maximize the potential of Media Literacy Education, teachers should use a specific decoding process. This process includes, asking key questions suggested by the National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) to promote critical thinking,

2. What is to be learned: Learners will become familiar with Media Literacy Education, understand the importance of decoding media, and learn how to effectively incorporate Media Literacy Education into their practice.

3. The Learners: This course is aimed at educating social studies teachers to improve their teaching of media documents in a secondary school setting, but is not limited to the 7-12 grade levels. Elementary school teachers can find this course useful as well as long as the media documents chosen and questions asked are age and intellectually appropriate.

4. Instructional Context: Although these activities can be utilized in both a traditional classroom and online course, they are best suited for classroom setting. Each activity includes in-depth discussion and in most cases, student responses will garner on-the-spot, thought-provoked questions. This can be done effectively with a good online discussion facilitator and frequent student participation, but a classroom provides a universal setting to perform the task.

5. Exploring the Problem and Solution: Participants of this course will improve their practice of teaching students to decode media documents in their classroom. Through activities, their students will understand the multifaceted world of media.

6. Goals: Teachers will be able to stretch student thinking, question the creators' intent of media documents while recognizing the biases, and get them to formulate their own opinions about media documents in social studies. Students will also be able to apply the decoding process of media to the real world.

3 Performance Objectives

  • Learners will be able to identify the definition of Media Literacy Education (verbal skills)
  • Learners will be able to identify the importance of Media Literacy Education by demonstration of the Media Literacy Education decoding process (verbal skills)
  • Learners will analyze example activities for decoding different types of media and apply the National Association Media Literacy Education questions to their own activities (intellectual skills)
  • Learners will create their own full-length lessons using the Media Literacy Education decoding process

4 Task Analysis

Lesson One

What is media and media literacy?

  1. The learner will define media
  2. The learner will analyze different forms of media
  3. The learner will examine the key concepts of media
  4. The learner will actively engage in brainstorming activities about media
  5. The learner will watch a video about the meaning of media literacy
  6. The learner will be motivated to discover how media literacy education will generate higher-order thinking in a classroom

Lesson Two

How can the media literacy education decoding process generate critical thinking skills in a classroom?

  1. The learner will understand the purpose of media literacy education
  2. The learner will analyze the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) key questions for building habits of inquiry about media messages
  3. The learner will observe media literacy education questioning sequences for different types of media documents in a social studies classroom setting
  4. The learner will choose a media document and apply questions that they find applicable to their selected document

Lesson Three

How can the media literacy education decoding process fit into a full-length lesson?

  1. The learner will observe full-length lessons for decoding different forms of media in a social studies classroom
  2. The learner will learn effective strategies and activities that lead up to the decoding process
  3. The learner will will learn ways to close media literacy education lessons
  4. The learner will apply the decoding process to full-length lessons


The learner will create a full-length media literacy education lesson of their own

5 Curriculum Map

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6 Mini-Course

Incorporating Media Literacy in Social Studies Classrooms

7 References and Resources

Rogow, Faith & Scheibe, Cyndy (2012). A Teacher's Guide to Media Literacy: Critical Thinking in a Multimedia World. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin, a Sage Company.