Archive | Media Literacy Ontario RSS feed for this section

Media Literacy Foldable

11 Dec

The craziness of the winter season is upon us at school! We’re doing all we can to keep our kids and academics on track while they are already focussed on the break. Add in preparing for a Christmas concert (yes, ours is still a Christmas concert) and all the holiday related interruptions and the day can seem excessively long and tiring.  As well, the other day there seemed to be a lot of supply teachers in so either everyone was taking a fun day and we didn’t get the memo or there is a nasty bug going around. Again. Good times. Good, good times.

When we think about it, there is rarely a time when there isn’t some stressor or a three-ring circus kind of day. There is always something. We can’t remember the last time we heard a colleague say they felt caught up and well rested. Maybe because they see the rest of us and know they would be universally despised or because we, as a general group, tend to feel we should always be doing more and focus on what needs to be done.

As always, our goal is to help you lessen your stress and help out where we can. We’ve noticed media literacy is a popular category in our stats so we decided to post our recently created media literacy foldable. We looked at the 5 key concepts of media literacy so we used the media triangle to create our foldable.

We also hope you take some time over the holidays to reflect not on what you need to do but what you have done well. It’s not as easy but would be good for the teaching soul. Happy Holidays!

You can download the file here:

Media Literacy INB brownlee and belanger


Media Literacy Poster Project (Grade 6)

27 Mar

After analyzing our posters with our graphic organizers, we reviewed the 5 key concepts of media literacy and how posters relate to these concepts. Our particular focus was on the message that “Each medium has a unique aesthetic form”. (We had used the video clips and some of the ideas from MediaSmarts Media Minutes  program at the start of the school year). We explained that when making posters, designers did not all take a side and start drawing – as we usually see in partner/group posters – they plan and, like all media, use key elements to make them effective.

It provided a good connection with our elements of art in that we were also able to review the element of balance in design through a look at symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial designs. Students enjoyed learning about the “Z pattern” design approach and, after looking at some examples,were quick to locate and identify the design features. Movie posters were our main source as it is easy for students to explain why the image of one character might be emphasized over another character. (Next time might be a good way to connect to narrative features…)

Fortunately for us, our school is having a talent show and it provided us for the perfect opportunity to put our new skills into action. To help students remember, we used a graphic organizer. This organizer takes the one from the Ontario Ministry of Education’s E-workshop Media Lesson Plan for Grade 4 and contains additional elements. One of which includes a great summary from Learn Alberta’s lesson plan on “Creating Persuasive and Effective Visuals”, using the summary idea of catchy, concise, comprehensive and convincing. We also included a reminder on the Z-pattern and a place for brainstorming as we decided to use the organizer for planning and keeping students on track during their poster creation.

Poster Elements Checklist-1 copyPoster Elements Checklist-2

Many of the posters are in progress; however, some are completed and we are very pleased we the results!

IMG_1065 IMG_1068poster

Media Literacy Poster Project

10 Mar

After the success of our cereal box design, we decided we would look at posters for our next project. Posters are a pervasive media form and easy to use in many subject areas. They also allow for a creative outlet in design and development. We have often assigned a poster creation project and outlined our expectations but have never really broken down the concept of posters as a media form.

We started by looking at a variety of posters in order to determine why posters are created. As always in this stage, we refer to the concept that media have special interests. We also refer back to the concept of PIE (persuade, inform, entertain) as a guideline to assist us in determining the messages being conveyed. As we looked at the posters we also discuss the use of colour and images that were selected in the development of the poster. This is to set the stage for our look at the key concept that each media has its own form and features.

In order to help students think about the conventions of a poster we created a graphic organizer for use when analysing a poster of his/her choice. This is located below as our freebie.

Media Literacy Poster Conventions BLM updated

We will keep you updated as we work through our analysis and poster design process!


Media Literacy Project (Grade 6)

1 Jan

We have been having fun lately with a media literacy project in our classroom. We are in the process of looking at the specific features of cereal boxes and designing our own cereal boxes. The idea initially came from MediaSmarts and their lessons on the key concepts of media literacy. We decided to share the two organizers we used in the project as freebies for you.

MediaSmarts has created a series of video clips looking at the five key concepts of media literacy. They also have lesson plans to accompany each video. They use the cereal lesson to accompany the concept of “media are constructions”. We altered it to use with the concept “media have special (commercial) interests”. This allowed us the chance to incorporate  curriculum expectations from each area: Understanding Media Texts, Understanding Media Forms, Conventions and Techniques as well as Creating Media Texts.

After watching the MediaSmarts’ “media have special (commercial) interests” clip. We set about to looking at the features of cereal boxes. As we have a number of iPads in the room, we choose to search online. It would also be good to have some on hand as you’ll use them later anyway. We used a graphic organizer to help focus our search.


After we created a list of items and discussed the features, students were given the following to help them create their own cereal design. (Note – students had all created their own logo prior to this activity).


Here are some examples of their work:
scooter crunch.jpg    IMG_0506.JPG   monster munch.jpg





IMG_0502.JPGHarry Potteros.jpg

Our next step will incorporate our persuasive writing as we will work to create commercials for our new product. We are looking forward to the finish products!