“No movies and videos during the school day!” Well, I beg to differ. In this world, children are amused and entertained by media content of all kinds. According to Common Sense Media, media can be considered all sorts of methods of input. We are not just talking about the “old school” media like newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV, we are also talking about text messages, memes, viral videos, social media, video games, and advertising, just to name a few. Why try to ban it or take it away? Let’s just use it to our advantage. Continue to read, and you will discover ways I use media literacy to improve reading literacy.
What is Media Literacy? Common Sense Media says that media literacy is the ability to identify different types of media and understand the messages they’re sending. With that being said, when we apply it to reading, we can have students, do what they love doing to obtain the skills and knowledge needed to increase reading literacy.
I love to use videos and movies to show facial expressions and relate those expressions back to the book. I don’t just play a movie, I teach with the movie. Short snippets of videos or commercials are often used to teach inferencing skills. I find that once students can see someone’s “visualization,” pertaining to what is being taught, it is easier for them to understand. Using text messages to convert messages or lines in a movie to students’ text language is a game-changer. Memes are great to express how a character felt in the story.
Being able to relate with real visuals can bring understanding to most anyone. I hope these tips have helped and you will reconsider using media literacy to support reading literacy.
Here are some useful reading and media literacy resources:
Sesame Street Letter of the Day Resources
Sesame Street Vocabulary Resources
Great American Read Collection, Elementary School Titles
Communication and Media Literacy | 3-5
Teaching Media Literacy | Elementary Resources
Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius | Media Literacy Resources
Distance Learning Resources for ELA
Great American Read Collection, Middle School Titles
Great American Read Collection, High School Titles
Communication and Media Literacy | 6-8
Teaching Media Literacy | Secondary Resources
My Journey Home | For Teachers: Media Literacy Workshop
Prediction and Inference: Lesson Description
Tanisha Ricks is an elementary media specialist in Norfolk Public Schools and an eMediaVA Teacher Ambassador.