Media Literacy Across the Curriculum

Media Literacy Across the Curriculum

0.50 USBE Credit
Media literacy empowers students to be critical thinkers and evaluators of an increasingly wide range of messages that combine images, language, and sound. It is the development of a broader set of literacy skills helping students comprehend and evaluate the messages they receive. Effective educators in all disciplines teach their students to do the following: analyze and evaluate the message; determine the intended audience; analyze the source; state the purpose of the message.


To earn this microcredential you will need to collect and submit two sets of evidence showing that media literacy is a part of your instruction within your specific content area(s). You will also complete a short written or video reflective analysis.


You will be charged $25 by the badge provider. You'll be charged at the point you submit your badge for final review.


Media literacy is not showing movies in class and having students take notes. It is not media bashing, simply including media in classes, or merely looking for stereotypes or propaganda. Focusing on one perspective is not media literacy. It does not mean "just watch"; it means "watch carefully, think critically" (Center for Media Literacy).


Media: All electronic or digital means used to transmit messages. These sources can be print, video, internet, etc.

Media Literacy: A 21st century approach to education that provides students with the skills to understand and evaluate the variety of media messages that surround them daily.

Analyze and Evaluate the Message: Teachers will instruct students to be able to state the message, question the message, and judge the message.

Determine the Intended Audience: Teachers will instruct students to be able to identify the target audience for the message.

Analyze the Source: Teachers will instruct students to be able to identify the source of a message, determine the source's purpose, and evaluate the credibility of the source.

State the Purpose: Teachers will instruct students to be able to decide if the message was meant to educate, persuade, or entertain.


Mrs. Green is a science teacher at Wetlands Junior High. She has been discussing conservation in her ninth-grade environmental science class. She wants her students to be able to evaluate the validity of sources that appear to be scientific, but may or may not be based on actual science. She has modeled this skill with a fake website, showing students how to examine the message, the audience, and the source to determine the purpose—which in this case was to educate viewers on the need for questioning what they are viewing.
She gives students three "scientific" websites to research: the endangered tree octopus (, the climate phenomenon in Minnesota ( ), and plantable pencils ( ). Students are to determine whether the site is a valid scientific site or a hoax. (Note to teacher: octopus and Minnesota are fake; pencils are real.)
Working in small groups, students create a T-chart graphic organizer for each website, listing evidence about the message, audience, source, and purpose which lead viewers to believe that the site is real on one side, and not real on the other. After examining the evidence, the group decides for each site: real or fake?
Mrs. Green wants her students to apply these skills in her upcoming research assignment.


Video: Submit a 5-8 minute video of your instruction of media literacy skills with learners. The video should include many of the following aspects of media literacy: analyzing and evaluating the message; determining the intended audience; analyzing the source; stating the purpose of the message. Video submissions should follow all relevant LEA (district/charter) and FERPA guidelines. Follow your district/charter guidelines for student privacy.

Student Work: Submit at least three samples of of your students' work. These samples should demonstrate how the students use all aspects of media literacy skills, including the following: analyzing and evaluating the message; determining the intended audience; analyzing the source; stating the purpose of the message. Student work may include notes, writings, completed graphic organizers, student reflection, etc. Be sure to follow your district/charter guidelines for student privacy.

Lesson Plan: Submit a lesson plan that shows how media literacy instruction is used to help students understand and use a central concept or skill (e.g., analyzing and evaluating the message; determining the intended audience; analyzing the source; stating the purpose of the message). The lesson plan should include the media provided to students and the questions the teacher plans to use to guide student thinking.

Candidate's Choice: Submit some other form of evidence to demonstrate your effective and consistent instruction in media literacy to support your content standards.

Candidates are required to make 2 evidence submission(s).

Review Criteria

Media Literacy: Evidence Criterion 1: Evidence demonstrates that the teacher has effectively guided students in analyzing and evaluating the message of a piece or pieces of media.
Criterion 2: Evidence demonstrates that the teacher effectively instructed students in determining the intended audience.
Criterion 3: Evidence demonstrates that the teacher effectively helped students learn to examine the source(s).
Criterion 4: Evidence demonstrates that the teacher effectively instructed students to use media literacy skills to determine the purpose of the media message.


  1. Describe how you use media literacy as an instructional tool to help students learn content standards and demonstrate critical thinking by analyzing and evaluating the message, determining the audience, analyzing the source, and stating the purpose of selected media.

  2. Describe how you chose media that is relevant to your content area and curriculum. Give specific examples of media literacy activities students participate in and how it helps them learn course content.

  3. Give specific examples of media literacy activities students participate in and how it helps them learn course content.

Review Criteria

Media Literacy: Reflection Criterion 1: Reflection demonstrates that the teacher understands the skills required for students to be critical consumers of media relevant to the content area.
Criterion 2: Reflection demonstrates how the teacher uses media literacy skills as an instructional tool to teach content standards.


"Media Literacy." BrainPOP, (2017).
This video is targeted to students and is a good introduction to what media literacy is, the types of media students might encounter, and suggestions for reading the messages. Be skeptical!

"Media Triangle." Media Literacy Clearinghouse.
The media triangle provides a checklist of questions for deconstructing media texts. The website also includes lesson plans, current events, and recommended resources.

"Tackling Fake News: Strategies for Teaching Media Literacy." DePasquale, John. Scholastic.
This website explains what media literacy is, why it is important, and gives ideas and lessons for teaching it. It is designed for middle school teachers, but can be adapted to any grade level.

"Teaching Media Literacy: Its Importance and 10 Engaging Activities." Guido, Marcus. Prodigy, (2017).
This blog explains why teaching media literacy is important and provides ten activities ranging K-12 for teaching it.

15 Resources for Teaching Media Literacy. Masten, MacKenzie. ASCD. (2017).
ASCD has compiled a list of resources from media literacy experts providing thoughts, tools, and tips for teaching media literacy, evaluating media resources, and more.

Center for Media Literacy
This website gives great descriptions of what media literacy is, is not, and basic principles of media literacy education.

How can advertising subliminally affect a person? "The Simpsons: Klown Kollege."
This clip is from the television program "The Simpsons." It gives an exaggerated, but humorous look at how advertising can affect the way a person perceives the world.

Media Literacy: Middle School Unit 1
Although targeted for junior high or middle school students, this clip discusses critical questions that students should be asking when analyzing any type of media, the material can be adjusted accordingly for student age.

Utah Core Standards for Literacy
The Utah Core Standards for grades 6-12 include standards for literacy in every content area. They are on pages 69-81 of the linked document.


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USBE Admin
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Angela Dunn
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