Media Literacy: Making Sense of the 24/7 News Cycle

A free press is essential to the success of a democracy. As the media has evolved over time to include radio, television, internet and now smart phones and social media apps, the ability in “being capable to read them” needs examining. This lesson guides students through analysis of social media posts, the definition of terms relevant to the media, and provides tools for identifying quality sources for examination of current political issues. This lesson accompanies the Talking Turkey: Taking the ‘Dis’ Out of Civil Discourse program as well as YLI and American Evolution’s First Freedom Wall.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Media Literacy, Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Media Literacy Booster Pack

Staying fresh and fluent in today’s media landscape isn’t easy. This collection of resources offers tools to tackle eight pressing challenges, from recognizing bias and propaganda to leveraging your role as a media contributor.

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  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Media, Photography, Primary Sources, Timelines, Video
  • Subject: Media Literacy
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Fact Finder: Your Foolproof Guide to Media Literacy

Are your students savvy searchers? Can they spot the difference between a straight news article and an opinion piece? Do they recognize bias in their sources … or in themselves?
Tackle these challenges and more using Fact Finder’s 11 flexible, multimedia lesson plans. Eight skill-building lesson plans introduce essential media literacy concepts through engaging explainer videos and colorful infographics that help students revisit, retain and apply the key concepts. The accompanying News or Noise? Media Map provides a collection of examples ready for students to analyze and evaluate with the support of worksheets and discussion prompts. Three reporting lesson plans help students take what they’ve learned and apply it to their own content creation, inspired by the issues that matter to them.

  • Resource Type: Modules (Teaching Unit), Video
  • Subject: Media Literacy
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Evaluating Election Ads

In this activity, students examine some of the techniques political campaigns use in ads to persuade voters, including assertions of fact and appeal to emotion. Students evaluate these techniques over time by comparing and contrasting historic and contemporary political ads.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Media
  • Subject: Media Literacy
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Believe It or Not?

This unit introduces students to the purpose and practice of media literacy. It includes pre- and post-visit activities designed to bracket the Believe It or Not? ED Class ( The activities also can be done independent of a visit to the Newseum.) Students will come to understand why not all information is trustworthy and how to differentiate the good from the bad. They practice using a set of tools – the consumer’s questions – to deconstruct and evaluate information sources.

  • Resource Type: Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Media Literacy
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12