Lesson Plans for Media Literacy Week

October 20, 2020

Updated October 22, 2021

Media literacy is one of the most important skills we can teach our students. From analyzing the purpose of media to evaluating the source, it takes critical thinking and lots of practice to become a smart media consumer. Our partners at National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will host Media Literacy Week from October 25-29, and Global Media and Information Literacy Week will take place Oct. 24-31. If you’re looking to participate, we’ve got resources for you!

Play Newsfeed Defenders

This week’s focus on media literacy provides a great opportunity to have students play our game, Newsfeed Defenders. In this highly-relevant and challenging game, students will learn to spot a variety of methods used to spread misinformation and promote viral deception on social media. Using critical thinking skills, players evaluate posts to determine whether they are legit news stories or deceptive posts.

Go even further with our Newsfeed Defenders Extension Pack, which provides a variety of activities to help students think through the benefits and challenges of social media and discuss what makes journalism credible.

The extension pack can be assigned with Kami, an innovative technology that allows students to annotate digital documents and gives them more opportunities to think, collaborate, and succeed in creative ways.

Teach News Literacy

In addition to our game, we have lessons focused on teaching news literacy to students at the high school level. Utilize our News Literacy curriculum unit to provide students with real-world, hands-on practice evaluating news, opinion, and misinformation.

  • Each of the four lessons (Journalism, Misinformation, Bias, and Opinion & Analysis) includes a paper activity as well as a web activity (similar to our WebQuests) and an independent internet investigation so your students build practical skills to help them identify and deal with misinformation, bias, opinion, and more.
  • The four mini-lessons zero in on narrower topics, including Monetization, Satire, Algorithms, and Privacy Policies.
  • With Kami, you can assign iCivics lessons and students can complete and submit the assignment back to you. Kami has a wide range of tools to make learning collaborative.

Put Media Literacy Skills to the Test

For even more ways to support building media literacy skills, our Mini Media Literacy Library contains lessons that combine civic content and news literacy skills. They cover all three government branches and can be used together or separately to target multiple learning objectives throughout the year.

  • Each of the lessons includes a content reading, a news literacy highlight, and a one-page news literacy activity.
  • Each of these lessons can also be assigned with Kami.

Share News Articles

iCivics EdNet educator, Andrew Swan, found that Kami made sharing news articles with his 8th grade students easier. In this blog post, he explains how he used Kami’s text-to-speech feature to read together and highlight key words, phrases, sentences while sharing his screen. He also describes how he added his own voice as commentary to existing lessons. 

“I used the Audio Comment feature to actually add my voice to the iCivics document. … My comments pointed out connections to other parts of the reading, or defined unfamiliar words that weren’t explained in the document.”

Use iCivics and Kami to engage your students this Media Literacy Week. Share ideas and find inspiration on Twitter with #MediaLitWk.