Ideas for Activities
Activities for schools and communities
Hands-on activities for students and youth
Activities for the home
Organizations interested in helping spread the message about Media Literacy Week are welcome to participate. Here's how you can get involved:
For more information on how to participate in Media Literacy Week, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use a media fair to highlight student-produced media productions. Include all your local school boards in the event and invite a variety of local organizations - universities, local media, book publishers, law enforcement, Internet service providers, etc. - to participate as judges, exhibitors and presenters during the fair.
For examples of media fairs taking place during Media Literacy Week, see the Events Calendar.
Media Awareness Network's Parenting the Net Generation is a workshop that educates parents about what kids are doing online and offers strategies for ensuring safe, wise and responsible Internet use in the home. For information about downloading the workshop visit the Parenting the Net Generation page on the Media Awarenes Network Web site.
For a listing of parent workshops leading up to and during Media Literacy Week, see the Events Calendar.
Choose a media-related topic of interest to your community and invite students, members of the media, researchers, NGOs and industry and government representatives to discuss and debate. Invite the public to attend. Arrange media coverage beforehand.
For public forums taking place during Media Literacy Week, see the Events Calendar.
Hold a media or Internet literacy professional development (PD) workshop for teachers or librarians in your community. PD workshops are available through the following media literacy organizations:
For information on PD workshops leading up to and during Media Literacy Week, see the Events Calendar.
Pick a media theme and have students produce either a piece of writing or a media product (audio, video, photography, digital animation, etc.) related to the theme. For existing media literacy student contests to participate in, see:
Challenge young people to investigate how environmental issues are covered by media. For a period of one week, have them track environmental stories that appear in newspapers or TV news programs. For newspaper stories, ask kids to identify where or how they are presented (length of articles, which page they appear on, whether there are accompanying pictures). For stories that appear on TV news programs, ask when and how they are presented (length of segment, when they appear, footage or interviews). When kids have finished their media monitoring logs, have them compare the coverage of environmental issues with the coverage of other issues.
Encourage young people to participate in Buy Nothing Day. This annual event falls on the day after the American Thanksgiving in November, traditionally the first day of Christmas shopping in the U.S. People are encouraged to not make any purchases throughout the entire day. The idea is to increase participants' awareness of their spending habits and to think about mass consumerism and its effect on the cultural and natural environment of the world.
For more information see Buy Nothing Day Teachable Moment.
Have young people investigate and identify the tricks of the advertising trade by creating a commercial for a fictional product. Marketers try many strategies to get people to buy their products and what they are often selling is an idea, or a lifestyle, rather than the product itself. Visit the following link for a list of advertising methods that marketers use to sell their products. http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/resources/educational/handouts/ advertising_marketing/food_ad_strategies.cfm
Stereotypes are common in media, especially in the advertising, entertainment and news industries - which need audiences to understand information as quickly as possible. Have kids storyboard a short scene from a movie, commercial, music video or television program, in which a stereotype was presented. Get them to change the scene by replacing the stereotype with a more accurate portrayal. For more information on stereotyping and diversity in media, visit: http://mediasmarts.ca/diversity-media
Have young people discuss and debate whether or not information and online content should be censored, filtered or if such practises violate an individual's freedom of information and expression. Challenge them to brainstorm scenarios and practical solutions to support their argument.
Have young people address the pressures to look perfect by deconstructing magazine covers aimed at a youth audience. Ask them:
Have them create a profile of a 'typical' young person, based on the cover of the magazines. Ask them if this is an accurate profile of someone in real life? Challenge them to create a cover for a fictional magazine that they would like to read, aimed at real young people.
Use the Web site to foster communication, cooperation, and community among the school's parents, teachers, and students. For example, include a Parents’ Section on the site with information on Internet safety, use of technology in the school and homework assignments.
Focus on positive Internet content by creating "portals" that link to great age-appropriate sites. Include links to materials to support specific curriculum units.
There are a number of great games online to help children learn to use the Internet safely and wisely. Check out the following sites:
e-Parenting Tutorial: Keeping up with your kids’ online activities, created by Media Awareness Network, helps parents better understand and become actively involved in their children’s online lives. Through the exploration of five key themes – homework, cyberbullying, marketing, online relationships, and excessive use – parents can develop the knowledge and skills they need to help their children navigate the Internet safely, wisely, and responsibly.
Use one of the many tip sheets on the MNet site to get the discussion started:
In this day and age, families find themselves living further and further apart. Why not bring your family together virtually by creating a family blog where you can share day-to-day life with grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and friends? Using anecdotes and photos, a blog is more user-friendly than a series of e-mails as you can peruse them at your leisure. Also, a blog can be secure, meaning it can be accessed only by those people you choose.
Creating a blog is quite simple. The Web site Blogger.com has an easy step-by-step process to get you started.
They also provide a video that shows you the complete process.
Introducing Google Maps to your kids is a good way to help them understand distances and maps, while getting them familiar with a real online tool. You can use the tool to help your kids create a personalized world map. On Google Maps choose the tab “satellite” to get an actual aerial view of your street and help your child locate your home. Then locate various important locations for him/her, such as relatives’ and friends’ houses or your cottage. Images will be even better if you use the free software Google Earth.
Across the planet, documentary filmmakers, students, and inspired citizens will record the human experience over a 24-hour period. By participating in this historic event, you will help capture the diversity of life and culture on this planet while teaching your children media literacy and digital literacy skills. The flagship of One Day on Earth is a 120-minute documentary to be released theatrically.
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