Teaching Kids Media Literacy

By Rowntree Montessori Schools (29/01/2014)
Throughout the month of October, our grade 5 students learned about Media Literacy. Media, which is defined as “the ways in which people communicate with each other”, can include a variety of things from books and magazines, to music and movies, to texting and websites. A survey conducted by the Media Awareness Networkin November 2005 found that 86% of kids from grades 4 to 11 have an email account (most being free services, such as Hotmail), and 94% of survey respondents have internet access at home. Most kids today have grown up never knowing a world without computers or social media. Therefore, media Literacy is a critical area of study for students today.
The grade 5 students spent the month discussing various forms of media, advertising techniques, and the implications of media on people, such as the harmful effects of stereotyping. Our students had a great time discussing healthy and unhealthy media and making good media choices. We discussed the impact video games have on young people, paying special attention to violent games such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, and why they may or may not be appropriate.
A Grade 5 RMS student's Media Awareness Poster stating "Don't Believe What You See On Media!"
As our culminating activity, students were asked to make a Media Awareness Poster to put up around the school to teach others what they have learned.
They used the advertising techniques we studied as well as their knowledge of the elements of art to produce an eye-catching design. There was a lot of creativity, imagination, and sound messages put into these posters. I’m so proud of them!
-Submitted by one of the RMS Grade 5 teachers.


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