45 Family Media Literacy Activities to Grow Smart Brains in a Digital Age – Help All in One Place

What’s “media literacy?” The phrase literacy connotes a excessive diploma of competency and often signifies that an individual is aware of the right way to learn and write. A literate individual, however, is effectively learn, utilizing and making use of excessive degree pondering abilities throughout a broad vary of matters. Laptop literacy means the capability to make use of computer systems effectively. Media literacy, then, is the power to make use of all types of media effectively. A media-literate individual makes use of tv, motion pictures, DVDs, pc and video video games for particular functions, simply as a print-literate individual reads a guide or {a magazine}, a university textual content or a newspaper for particular, numerous causes.

Utilizing all visible display screen know-how deliberately is the primary, and most vital aspect in turning into media literate. Finally as mother and father we wish youngsters and youths to be answerable for small screens and never be managed by them. Analysis has verified and consultants know {that a} baby who mindlessly watches a whole lot of TV or performs video video games endlessly is much less geared up to develop the capacities for sensible media use. A media literate baby, however, would study to self-monitor display screen time-being in a position to take it in doses-rather than make a behavior of it four-five hours a day advert nauseum. She or he would need to do different actions as a result of pondering, inventive youngsters are curious beings and there is a entire world on the market to explore-screen applied sciences simply being one small a part of it.

Whereas a print-literate individual reads phrases; a media literate individual reads pictures. Utilizing evaluation, analysis, and better degree pondering abilities, a media-literate individual interprets the refined messages and overt claims visible messages convey. That is the place we wish our youngsters headed-in a path of constructing it second nature to suppose effectively about all types of media pictures.

If we boiled down media literacy for our youngsters, I feel we’d discover 5 fundamental abilities that we want them to amass:

• Aware, intentional, restricted use of all types of display screen know-how

• Potential to critique visible messages and perceive their intent and mental and emotional impression

• Potential to speak info, concepts, and considerate opinions about media pictures

• An intensive understanding of media manufacturing methods to completely admire how such methods as digicam angles, lighting, cuts, and many others. impression the messages being delivered

• Potential to make use of all types of display screen know-how purposefully, and finally properly

Kids can take pleasure in turning into media literate. The 45 household media literacy actions are grouped as follows:

30 Common actions that you may adapt and use with youngsters or teenagers.

15 Actions for kids, particularly designed for kids, ages 3-6

30 Common Household Media Literacy Actions

1. TV and books.

Maintain monitor of the dates when a TV model of a guide is scheduled to air and encourage your youngsters to learn the guide first, or comply with up this system by suggesting they learn the guide afterwards. Nice discussions may end up from evaluating the unique guide and the TV model.

2. Use TV to develop youngsters’s pursuits.

Hyperlink TV applications along with your youngsters’s pursuits, actions, and hobbies. A toddler considering crafts can watch craft applications for encouragement and concepts; after viewing a wildlife present, take the youngsters to a zoo and have them recall what they discovered about animals from the TV program. How does the true life expertise differ from the present they watched? Are there any similarities?

3. Time capsule.

Ask your baby to think about that she or he has been given the job of selecting 5 tv applications that can be included in a time capsule, to not be opened for 100 years. Talk about what kind of society these reveals may replicate to a baby opening the time capsule 100 years from now.

4. Totally different viewpoints.

All members of the family watch one program collectively. The TV is then turned off and every individual writes a number of sentences about their opinions in regards to the present. Talk about and examine everybody’s opinions, declaring to your baby how completely different folks will like or dislike the identical program. Why are all opinions legitimate? Who had essentially the most persuasive opinion in regards to the present? Why?

5. Watch a TV present being taped.

Take youngsters to a tv program taping both domestically or as a part of a household journey to New York or Los Angeles. To make the journey extra significant, have your youngsters draw the set, take notes on the format of the present, word the particular results, and discuss what it was like being within the viewers. Is the viewers vital to the present? How? (It might be simpler to go to an area TV or radio station. You can go to each and discuss in regards to the variations between them.)

6. Make up an alternate title.

Once you’re watching a TV program or film along with your baby, ask her or him to train creativeness and consider one other title. To get issues rolling, recommend an alternate title your self. All members of the family can provide you with as many alternates as doable. Vote on the most effective. What makes it higher than all the remainder to convey the essence of the present or movie?

7. Examine what you see with what you count on.

Along with your baby, provide you with an outline of a present earlier than watching it, primarily based on what you’ve got learn in a TV schedule. Predict how the characters will act and the way the plot will unfold. When this system ends, take a couple of minutes to speak about what you noticed: Did both of you discover any variations between what was written within the TV schedule and what was really proven? Had been both of you shocked by something you noticed? Is the present what you anticipated it will be? Why or why not?

8. Which class does it match?

Utilizing a tv information, your baby will listing all of the reveals he or she watches, then divide them into the next classes: comedy, information, cartoons, sitcoms, dramas, cleaning soap operas, police reveals, sporting occasions, instructional applications, and documentaries. Which is her or his favourite class and present? Why?

9. Predict what is going to occur.

Throughout industrial breaks, ask your baby to foretell what is going to occur subsequent in this system. You possibly can talk about such questions as: In the event you have been the scriptwriter, how would you finish this story? What do you suppose the principle characters will do subsequent? Is it straightforward or tough to guess the principle occasion on this program? Why or why not?

10. The guessing sport.

Flip off the amount however depart the image on. See in case your baby can guess what is going on. To increase this right into a household sport, have everybody choose a TV character and add his/her model of that character’s phrases.

11. Letter writing.

Encourage your baby to put in writing letters to TV stations, describing why s/he likes and dislikes sure applications. Emphasize that giving factual and particular info can be useful.

12. Be a digicam operator.

Have your baby experiment with a video digicam to study the way it can manipulate a scene (omission-what it leaves out; selection-what it consists of; close-up-what it emphasizes; lengthy shot-what temper it establishes; size of shot-what’s vital and what’s not).

13. Theme songs.

Assist your baby determine the devices and sound results used within the theme songs of his favourite reveals. Have her sing or play the music within the present and clarify what the music is doing. Does it set a temper? How? Does it inform a narrative? How does it make him/her really feel?

14. Sequence the plot: a sport.

To assist your baby perceive logical sequencing, ask her to observe a TV present whilst you write down its major occasions, jotting every occasion on a separate card. On the completion of this system, shuffle the playing cards and ask your baby to place them in the identical order through which they appeared throughout this system. Talk about any lapses in logical sequence.

15. A time chart.

Your baby will maintain a time chart for one week of all of her actions, together with TV watching, film watching, and enjoying video video games. Examine the time spent on these actions and on different actions, akin to enjoying, homework, organized sports activities, chores, hobbies, visiting associates, and listening to music. Which actions get essentially the most time? The least? Do you or your baby suppose the steadiness needs to be altered? Why or why not?

16. Successful and shedding.

Inform your baby to observe a sports activities program and listing all of the phrases which can be used to explain profitable and shedding. Encourage a protracted listing. You can also make this right into a pleasant competitors, for those who like, with two or extra youngsters gathering phrases from a number of sports activities applications after which studying them aloud.

17. TV and radio.

Whereas watching TV protection of a sports activities sport, flip off the TV sound and have your baby concurrently hearken to radio protection. What does your baby take into consideration the radio protection? Concerning the TV protection? What are the strengths of every? The weaknesses?

18. Quiz present comparability.

Examine and distinction the wide range of sport and quiz reveals along with your baby. You will see reveals that check information, reveals which can be primarily based on pure luck, and reveals which can be aimed particularly at youngsters. That are your kid’s favorites? Why?

19. TV lists.

Help your baby in making lists of all tv applications that contain hospitals, police stations, colleges, and farms, and all tv applications that comprise imaginative parts, akin to science fiction reveals or cartoons.

20. Tv vocabulary.

Problem your baby to hear for brand new phrases on TV and report again to the household on their definitions.

21. Crucial viewing survey.

Ask your baby to observe considered one of his favourite applications with you. Afterwards, you’ll each fill out the next survey. Then examine your solutions. Are they completely different? Why? Are there proper or improper solutions, or is far of what was recorded open to particular person interpretation?

Crucial Viewing Survey

Program watched:

Characters (Checklist three to 5 and describe briefly):

Setting (Time and place):


Plot (Checklist three to 5 occasions so as of prevalence):

Story theme:


Logic (Did the story make sense? Would this have occurred in actual life?):

Score of the present (from one to 10, with ten being the very best):

22. Physique language.

Observe physique language in commercials and/or TV reveals and movies. Discover head place, hand gestures, and eye motion. How does physique language have an effect on how you’re feeling in regards to the supposed visible or verbal message? Kids might reduce out postures and expressions from print ads (magazines and newspapers) and see if they’ll discover these postures and expressions on TV or in motion pictures. How vital is physique language to convey persuasive visible messages?

23. Variations on a narrative.

Take a look at how a specific story is dealt with in another way by completely different channels. Use videotaped reveals to match. What are the variations? What are the similarities?

24. Fast drawback fixing.

Level out to your baby how fast issues are solved on many TV reveals. Talk about the variations in dealing successfully with challenges in actual life. It’s possible you’ll need to embrace in your dialogue what processes you undergo to determine, confront, and resolve issues.

25. Put phrases of their mouth.

As a household watch a favourite program with the hold forth. Attempt to determine what every of the characters within the present is saying. Talk about why you consider that primarily based on previous information of this system and the way the characters are behaving. Encourage your baby to consider how she or he would write the script for every of the characters. What are the vital issues that they are saying? Why are these thought-about vital?

26. Make your individual household TV Information.

Collect your baby/ren and ask them to make a household TV Information for the upcoming week. What applications would they embrace? What applications would they make certain to not embrace? Ask them to provide causes for his or her decisions.

27. Considering forward to foretell what may occur.

This can be a nice exercise for school-age youngsters who might have steerage in watching their favourite applications whilst you cannot be there with them. Give your baby a written listing of 3-5 common questions that they’ll learn earlier than they watch a TV present. Take into account such questions as: “What do you suppose this program can be about? What do you anticipate the principle character’s troubles can be? How will he/she resolve them? Why are you watching this present and never doing one thing else?” Instruct your baby to consider the questions whereas viewing-no want to put in writing something down-just suppose. As your baby watches, he/she will not be capable to cease enthusiastic about these questions-it’s simply how the mind works. Intermittently, ask your baby to debate the TV program with you, together with how this exercise helps to consider this system!

28. Ask: “What is going to occur subsequent?”

This can be a easy, but efficient exercise. Mute the commercials whereas your loved ones watches TV collectively and ask every baby and grownup what he/she thinks will occur subsequent. There aren’t any proper or improper solutions! This offers everybody an opportunity to have interaction in inventive interaction after which to check his/her “speculation” when the present resumes. Kids might study simply how predictable and mundane a whole lot of applications are and shortly enhance on the scriptwriters, including their very own inventive concepts!

29. Document your kid’s favourite present.

Then play it again throughout a protracted automotive journey or round a comfortable fire on a darkish winter night. The aim of this exercise could be in your baby to listen to this system, with out seeing the visuals. Discuss how the characters and their actions change because of solely listening to the present. Does your baby should hear extra intently? Why or why not? What are some essential distinctions between watching and listening?

30. Encourage your baby or teen to be a media creator.

Finally what we wish is for our youngsters to search out methods to creatively categorical who they’re. You possibly can encourage a baby to make use of a digital digicam and make a photograph collage of a household journey, as an example. Older youngsters and youths can create web sites, blogs, even podcasts. Display applied sciences are highly effective instruments and when used deliberately, with particular functions, our youngsters change into media-literate within the strategy of studying extra about their very own creativity and distinctive abilities.


15 Media Actions for Kids, ages 3-6

Display Violence

1. Discuss real-life penalties.

If the display screen violence have been taking place in actual life, how would the sufferer really feel? In actual life what would occur to the perpetrator of the violence. Examine what’s on the display screen to the implications of what occurs when somebody hurts one other individual in the true world.

2. Violence is just not the way in which to resolve issues.

Emphasize that hurting one other individual in any approach or destroying property is improper and will not resolve an individual’s issues. Level out to your baby that lots of the violent cartoon characters by no means appear to resolve their issues from episode to episode, and that to make use of violence is to behave with out pondering of the implications. Inform your baby it is highly effective and sensible to search out peaceable, inventive methods to resolve issues with different human beings. Select an issue your baby encountered not too long ago akin to one other baby taking a toy away and discuss in regards to the affordable approach the issue was resolved or might have been resolved-without hurting.

3. Anger is pure.

Discuss the truth that all of us get offended, that it is regular. It is what we do with our anger-how we deal with it and categorical it-that’s vital. When display screen characters damage folks out of anger, it is as a result of they haven’t discovered the right way to cope with their anger. Your baby might make a listing of display screen characters who know the right way to cope with their anger in optimistic methods.

4. Rely the variety of violent acts.

Whereas watching a favourite cartoon along with your baby, rely the variety of precise violent actions. Level out that these are dangerous to others and you’d by no means enable him/her to do such issues to others. Complete the variety of violent actions on the finish of this system and ask your baby if he/she thought there have been that many. Resolve to not watch cartoons or any reveals with such violent actions.

5. Discuss actual and faux.

In case your baby is uncovered to a violent film or online game, it’s particularly vital to speak with him/her about the truth that the photographs have been pretend-like when your baby performs faux and that nobody was really damage. Make it a typical apply to speak in regards to the variations between actual and faux with any TV applications, motion pictures, your baby watches. Understanding this idea fundamental to turning into media-literate!

Display Promoting

6. Blind style check.

Present your baby how she will check the claims of commercials. Have her do a blind style check. It may be finished with a variety of meals akin to three or 4 sorts of soda pop, spaghetti sauce, cereal-your kid’s favorites. Are the merchandise as nice because the commercials claimed? Can she inform the distinction between a generic model and a well-known one? Can she determine merchandise by title? Do the commercials make merchandise appear completely different than they are surely? Why or why not? This can be a enjoyable exercise to do with a number of youngsters. Have a style check get together!

7. Draw footage of a sense.

Recommend that your baby draw an image depicting how he feels after watching two various kinds of TV commercials. What are the variations between the images? Talk about your kid’s emotions in regards to the completely different industrial messages. Image the customer. Youthful youngsters can watch a industrial after which draw an image of the kind of individual they suppose will purchase the product. After discussing the kid’s image, clarify how numerous viewers appeals are utilized in commercials to draw particular audiences.

8. Cartoon adverts.

Whereas watching cartoons, your baby can search for particular cartoon characters that seem in well-liked commercials. Clarify the variations between the industrial and the cartoon: Within the industrial, the character sells a product; within the cartoon, the character entertains us. The following time she watches TV, have her report back to you if she sees any cartoon characters promoting merchandise.

9. The toy connection.

When visiting a toy retailer, you and your baby can search for toys which have been

marketed on TV or promoted by TV personalities. Level out to him how the toys marketed on TV initially appear extra enticing than these he hasn’t seen marketed.

10. Invent a personality.

Your baby can choose a product, akin to a favourite cereal, and create an imaginary character that can be utilized to promote the product. He/she might draw an image or role-play the character. Or, utilizing puppets, stage an imaginative industrial for a made-up product. Afterwards talk about along with your baby what he or she did to inform folks in regards to the product. Watch a number of commercials and level out fundamental promoting methods akin to making the product wanting bigger than life, repeating a jingle, and exhibiting blissful youngsters utilizing the product.

Display Information

TV information comprises parts that will not be acceptable for younger youngsters. As a lot as doable, watch information when your baby is in mattress or not within the room. Shield your infant from graphic pictures and matters that she/he isn’t able to deal with cognitively or emotionally.

Display Stereotypes

11. Not higher, simply completely different.

Kids are by no means too younger to begin studying the message that variations don’t make anybody higher than anybody else. Level out how every member of the family has his or her personal particular person preferences, habits, concepts, and behaviors. Variations make us all distinctive and fascinating. When your baby sees a racist or sexist stereotype on the display screen, clarify that the writers of the script made an error in portraying the character in that mild.

12. Change the image.

Play a sport along with your baby: When she encounters a display screen stereotype, ask her whether or not different varieties of folks might play that function. For example, if the secretary is a younger girl, clarify that males are secretaries, too, and that many older girls are very competent secretaries.

13. Women, boys, and toys.

As you stroll by means of a toy retailer, level out numerous toys to your baby, asking every time whether or not the toy is made for a boy or a lady. Ask if any baby might simply as effectively play with the toy. Encourage your baby to search out toys that may be enjoyable for ladies and boys to play with. Then, when your baby sees toy commercials on TV, level out whether or not solely little boys or little ladies are enjoying with the toys.

14. Play: Who’s lacking?

Usually what youngsters see on the display screen doesn’t signify all nationalities and the range she or he encounters in preschool, kindergarten, or on the playground. Whereas watching favourite cartoons or motion pictures along with your baby, talk about who’s missing-such as an older individual; a disabled individual, or an individual of a sure race or nationality. You can too talk about what varieties of folks your baby encounters extra usually on the screen-young, glamorous, blissful white folks often take up the vast majority of the visible pictures with males outnumbering girls 3 to 1!

15. Mannequin dialogue of display screen stereotypes.

When your loved ones watches a favourite TV program or a well-liked DVD, you possibly can assist your teenager determine stereotypical roles, behaviors, and attitudes by holding household conversations to contain your partner and/or older youngsters. Whereas watching this system or film, the adults and the older youngsters take notes, monitoring at any time when they spot a stereotype of age, gender, or race. After watching, flip off the TV/VCR and talk about everybody’s observations. Utilizing every member of the family’s notes, compile a grasp listing of the stereotypical statements and portrayals that have been famous. This dialogue may be made extra fascinating for those who taped this system (or replay the DVD in acceptable scene/s), so you possibly can refer again to it as members of the family talk about the stereotypes they noticed. Your infant will hearken to this household media literacy dialog and take in vital info whereas the others share their concepts.

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