Teaching Media Literacy – Staying focused on lesson goals

In these video clips, Gus works with the class to develop a list of attributes of two types of videos (Yell and Sell and branded), then keeps them focused on those attributes in a storyboarding excercise a week later. At the end, she assesses how the lesson went.

When deconstructing ads, students often default to speaking about the qualities of the product, rather than the audio, visual, and writing elements which help create its advertised image. In the video, Gus tries to elicit further detail from students when they give her these kinds of responses. The class ultimately produced a surprisingly detailed, long list of characteristics of each type of ad, in addition to a comparison of how ads in their home countries differed from those they saw in the United States.

In the second week of the class, students similarly drifted away from the concrete details of advertising while they made their storyboards. Noticing that the group in the latter part of the video was having a hard time staying on task, Gus spent a lot of time working with this group. She emphasized that the group needed to specify visual, written, and audio details in order to communicate to her and Skye what they should do when editing the video. Watch how she draws their attention back to what they are seeing in the original ad they are mashing up.

What do you think of Gus’s pedagogical tactics for keeping the class focused? Is this class like classes you are used to? What would you do differently, and what would you try to maintain, in your own class?

What strategies would you use to emphasize particular visual, audio, and written details? Develop your own lesson plan for teaching the Yell and Sell episode, or another Media Show episode.