Joe's Mini Course: Implementing Media Literacy Education to your Social Studies Classroom


ETAP 623 Spring 2020 (Zhang) | Joe's Portfolio Page

Teaching Media Literacy in Social Studies Classrooms

World War II Posters

Overview and Purpose

The purpose of this mini-course is to assist Social Studies teachers in learning how to teach their students about media literacy and how to decode media documents within their curriculum. The course will begin with defining what media and media literacy mean and then will aim to question how each participant uses media in their own lives. The course then will instruct learners how to use the National Association for Media Literacy Education key questions to decode historical media documents. In doing so, the learner can connect on how media literacy education links to the classroom and units that include media documentation. To assist them, they will review a media literacy lesson plan for a World War Two Unit. Learners will be assessed by creating their own media literacy lesson plan and will self reflect on what they have learned and how media and media literacy impacts their personal and professional lives.


This mini-course is designed for Social Studies teachers for grades 7-12. The participants for this course should have prior knowledge of World War II and the impacts of media outlets such as war-time posters. In addition, the participant should be aware of terms such as yellow journalism and propaganda.

Participants will use the information they learn from this course to incorporate it in to their Social Studies units that they see fit, such as World War II or the Vietnam War units. A media literacy lesson plan would be best used if it was included either during or after instruction on a unit, and typically would not be as useful if used to start a new unit when the students do not have any prior knowledge.

Course Units

This mini-course includes the following units. Click the title of a unit to go to its page.

Lesson One- Introduction: What is Media and Media Literacy

At the conclusion of this lesson, participants of this course will be able to define media and media literacy. Participants will then self- reflect on their own use of media.

Lesson 2- Key Questions For Media Literacy Decoding

At the conclusion of this lesson, participants be able to identify the importance of media literacy in education. Participants will learn about the National Association of Media Literacy Education key questions to become media literate and will be able to connect their newly acquired knowledge to their curriculum.

Lesson Three- How to Connect This With Your Social Studies World War II Unit

At the conclusion of this lesson, participants of this course will be able to review what they learned in the previous lesson by comparing their decoding to that of the instructor. The participants will be able to identify how media literacy education is connected to their Social Studies classrooms. They will learn how to include media literacy education into a lesson plan that can be used within their curriculum.

Lesson Four: Assessment: Applying What You Have Learned to Create Your Own Media Decoding Lesson

At the conclusion of this lesson, participants of this course will be able to apply what they have learned to create their own media literacy education lesson plan.

Lesson Five: Self-reflection

Brief Overview