Mini Media Literacy Library

For your convenience, we've assembled a library of our Media Moment Mini-Lessons. These mini-lessons combine civic content and news literacy skills. Designed for the high school classroom, each mini-lesson includes a content reading, a news literacy highlight, and a one-page news literacy activity. Use the readings together or separately to target multiple learning objectives throughout the year! Each lesson can also be found in the units below.

In our "Executive Branch" unit:

In our "Legislative Branch" unit:

In our "Judicial Branch" unit:

*For more news literacy lessons, see our full "News Literacy (HS)" unit.


  • Lesson Plan

    Mini-lesson: Congressional Committees (HS)

    Discover the different types of congressional committees and their responsibilities. What's more, teach students about bias and balanced reporting. In the closing activity, students put their news literacy skills to work by evaluating an article of choice for the inclusion of varied and balanced perspectives.  
  • Lesson Plan

    Mini-lesson: Filibusters (HS)

    First, teach students about filibusters and how and why senators use them. Next, help students develop their news literacy skills by taking a look at how news coverage of a filibuster can be transformed through neutral, positive, or negative framing.
  • Lesson Plan

    Mini-lesson: The Incumbent Advantage (HS)

    Learn about the electoral advantage that favors incumbents and the benefits and drawbacks of reelecting members of Congress. Then, put students' news literacy skills to work as they learn what distinguishes an opinion piece, op-ed, or commentary from traditional news.
  • Lesson Plan

    Mini-lesson: Judicial Activism & Restraint (HS)

    Learn about the judicial philosophies of activism and restraint. In the second half of the lesson, students learn about opinion journalsim and explore criteria through which they can evaluate news-related opinion pieces.Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDF versions of this lesson's materials below!
  • Lesson Plan

    Mini-lesson: Gerrymandering (HS)

    Students try their hand at a simplified districting exercise and learn about the common gerrymandering practices of packing and cracking districts. Students then explore the media’s traditional roles as gatekeeper, agenda setter, and watchdog in a news literacy-related activity!
  • Lesson Plan

    Mini-lesson: Midterm Elections (HS)

    Students learn about midterm elections, their role as a referendum on the presidency, and how a shift in party control impacts the legislative and executive branches. Page two of this Media Moment Mini-lesson covers horse race journalism, common during election season, and the limitations of this type of coverage. 
  • Lesson Plan

    Mini-Lesson: Succession (HS)

    Review the official presidential line of succession and read about its origins. Students also learn how to detect satire in a news literacy-related activity. 
  • Lesson Plan

    Mini-Lesson: Executive Orders (HS)

    Discover how presidents use executive orders to wield power and how the legislative and judicial branches support and challenge these measures. Then take a look at what fair and balanced reporting on an executive order might look like and practice evaluating perspectives in online news articles of choice.Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDF versions of this lesson's materials below!
  • Lesson Plan

    Mini-Lesson: Presidential Appointments (HS)

    Learn about unilateral presidential appointments, nominations, and the Senate confirmation process. Then investigate the role the media plays as a gatekeeper and agenda setter in the accompanying news skills-related activity. Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDF versions of this lesson's materials below!
  • Lesson Plan

    Mini-Lesson: Pardon Power (HS)

    Teach students about presidential pardons, commutations, and the limitations on these powers. What's more, students learn about fact-checking websites and how to conduct an independent web search to verify a claim. Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDF versions of this lesson's materials below!