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									Critical Media Literacy Lesson Plan




Roberta Susan Marshall              PJ 6
CURS 4211 PJ Language Arts
Dr. Janette Hughes
Faculty of Education
University of Ontario Institute of Technology
                        Lesson Plan for Media Literacy

Date of Lesson:      ____________________________________

Location:            ____________________________________

Teacher:             ____________________________________

Grade:               ____________________________________


Lesson/Unit Topic/Theme

Grade 6 Media Literacy: Finding Point of View and Intended Audience in a
Front- Page Newspaper Story

Lesson/Unit Length

Four 40-minute blocks

The first three lessons focus on text and point of view.

The final lesson focuses on audience and production, and requires a library or
computer lab.

Required Materials

-Library Computer Lab with Internet access to Google Maps, Google Earth,
   on-line encyclopaedias
-Chart Paper, Markers
-Blackboard, Chalk
-Newspaper Article: “Aurora pet grabbed from family back yard” by Sean Pearce,
 Newmarket Era-Banner, March 2, 2008, available on line at
http://www.yorkregion.com/article/70338 - one copy per student
-Overhead projector or LCD projector
-For overhead projector, a teacher transparency copy of newspaper article, with
relevant adjectives, adverbs highlighted in one colour, points of view highlighted
in another, colour. For LCD projector, a teacher copy of the newspaper article, in
electronic format, with similar highlights.
-Student Handout #1 - KWL Chart – one copy per student
 -Student Handout/Question Sheet #2 – one copy per student
-Student Handout/Question Sheet #3 - Computer/Coyote/Advertising
-Student Handout/Question Sheet #4 - Summary or Extension Paragraph
-Several copies of the Thursday edition of the Newmarket-Era Banner, including
flyers, inserts, advertisements

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-Critical Thinking word wall: words such as bias, value, issue, perspective,
implicit, explicit, lead paragraph, tone
-Dictionaries
-Pencils/pen and paper for students
-Rubric for individual assessment
-Teacher checklist for group assessment, notations


Curriculum Expectations
Grade 6 Media Literacy Expectations

Overall Expectation

1 demonstrate an understanding of a variety of media texts (in this case, print
media/newspapers)

Specific Expectations Responding to and Evaluating Texts

1.3 evaluate the effectiveness of the presentation and treatment of ideas,
information, themes, opinions, issues and /or experiences in media texts
1.4 explain why different audiences might have different responses to media
texts
1.5 identify whose point of view is presented in a media text, identify missing or
alternative points of view, and, where appropriate, determine whether the chosen
view achieves a particular goal
1.6 identify who produces various media texts, the reason for their production,
how they are produced, and how they are funded.

Cross-Curricular Links

Grade 6 Science and Technology Understanding Life Systems: Biodiversity

Overall Expectations
Assess human impacts on biodiversity, and identify ways of preserving
biodiversity

Specific Expectations

1.1 analyse a local issue related to biodiversity, propose action that can be taken
    to preserve biodiversity, and act on the proposal




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Prior Knowledge

Students will need to be somewhat familiar with their community or local
newspaper. They need to have some prior knowledge of the difference between
wild and domestic animals. They need to have some knowledge of the
community in which they live, i.e, some areas are densely populated, some areas
are rural.

The first day of the lesson will be spent accessing prior knowledge through the
form of individual KWL charts and whole-class brainstorming charts.


Rationale for Teaching This Lesson
Language Arts
The rationale for teaching this lesson is to show students that newspaper stories
are often written from a specific point of view. Readers of these stories need to
be aware that there might be alternate points of view to those expressed in the
story. They also need to be aware that production and the intended audience
often affect the content of the stories they will read in a newspaper.
Science
The rationale is to get students thinking about the impact humans have on local
wildlife and biodiversity. They should consider whose opinions in their
community seem to be the most important when issues of biodiversity are being
considered.

Assessment Strategies

During group work, the teacher will listen to the group’s discussion, and suggest
other questions or issues they might want to consider in their study of the article.
The teacher should have a checklist for each group to assess their social skills
and abilities to contribute to the group’s discussions and findings.

Students will come together as a group at various stages throughout the lesson,
so that the teacher can continue to gauge comprehension as a whole group.

Students will individually submit a completed question and answer sheet, as well
as a 1-2 paragraph summary or proposed extension of the article. The teacher
should have an individual rubric to assess the student’s comprehension of the
facts presented in the article, and of their ability to critically assess those facts.




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Extensions

Students could be challenged to find another news article – online or in print copy
– and to identify the points of view presented in that article and why they think
those points of view are being presented.


Modifications for English Language Learners

Modifications would depend on the individual student’s needs. These students
might benefit from the oral reading component of the group work. They may also
require duo-language dictionaries, or modified question sheets. As an extension,
students who are English Language Learners could choose to study a news
article written in their first language.


Content Area Focus

This lesson will focus on a large, front page news story and photograph from a
community newspaper, the Newmarket Era Banner, dated March 2, 2008. The
focus of the story was an attack by a coyote on a small dog in an Aurora
neighbourhood. The story and photo occupied more than 75 per cent of the front
page and attracted many letters to the editor, both in support of, and against, the
views expressed in the article.

The opinions expressed in the article were those of the owner of the dog, as well
as the veterinarian who treated the dog. The article gave street coordinates for
the coyote attack, but no information about the type of neighbourhood (i.e.,
suburban, urban or rural). There was no scientific opinion as to why the coyote
may have attacked the dog, or whether these types of attacks are increasing.


DAY ONE Focusing Questions:

Day One will be a day to access prior knowledge, predict what the article might
be about, and determine whether or not students think this is an article they
might like to read.

The teacher should model, in a think-aloud, the types of questions students might
want to consider before they read the article.




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Activity – Whole Class Instruction – Accessing Prior Knowledge
(20 minutes)

Part One (10 minutes)

The teacher is to advise students they will be reading a local newspaper article
about a coyote attack in our community. Before they begin to read, the teacher
will initiate a class discussion, recording answers on chart paper, about the
following topics:
What do we know about coyotes?
(they are predators, they are like wolves, we see them on the highway, farmers
don’t like them, etc.”
What do we know about wild animals? What do we know about pet dogs?
Have we seen wild animals in our neighbourhood? Which ones? Do we have
pets? Are wild animals a problem? Is having wildlife in our community good or
bad? Is having a pet good or bad?
What about school mascots – are they named after animals like coyotes?
Does that mean we should like them?
What do we know about our local newspaper?
(Is it free? Who reads it? Who pays for it? Who is the newspaper aimed at? Who
writes it? Do students read it?)

What do we know about our community? Is it urban or rural, or both? How has
our community changed over time? Is it crowded or do we feel like we have lots
of space? Is there land that isn’t used for houses/ businesses/factories? Where
is that land?

Part Two (10 minutes)
The teacher will then remind students about the concept of critical thinking.

The teacher will instruct students that, later on in the lesson, the students will be
reading a story about coyotes. The teacher will expect students to be able to do
more than just retell what happened in the story. Students will be asked to
consider how they feel about the story, and whether, after reading the story, they
felt any differently than they did before they read it. They will be asked to think
about whether the story left any unanswered questions, or whether they thought
it was a good story or bad story, and their reasons for feeling that way.


The teacher should model what information she would want the students to
gather from the story:

A retelling of the story would include the who, the why, the what, the where, the
how.


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An analysis of the story might include whether they thought it was good story
(why/why not)?

The point of view being expressed in the story – what is it?

Are there any other points of view?

Are there any points of view that are left out of the story? Why do you think those
points of view were left out?



Part Three: Think-Pair Share (7 minutes) – Handout #1 - KWL Chart

Each student is given a copy of a KWL chart, broken into three vertical columns
and three horizontal sections. The teacher quickly reviews rules for attentive
listening. They are asked to individually record: What they know about coyotes,
and what they want to know. What they know about coyotes in our community,
and what they want to know. What they know about our local newspaper, and
what they want to know.

Students have 3 minutes to record their answers and 3 minutes to quietly discuss
their answers with their elbow partner.

Recap (10 minutes)

 Class instruction: the teacher asks for two examples of things from each
category (coyotes, coyotes in our community, our newspaper) that students
would like to learn from the article.

The teacher reminds students that she wants them to recall the who, what,
where, when, why and how of the article.

As they are reading, she wants them to think about the point of view being
expressed in the story.

The teacher explains to students that the first paragraph in any newspaper story
is designed to capture their attention.

The teacher explains to them that they need to pay close attention to the lead
paragraph (first paragraph) of the story. They should also look at the headlines
(titles)

Have samples of other issues of the local paper on hand. Pass them out to
students. What do the students notice about the front page? The graphics? The
photographs? Does it look like it is accurate information? Why do they think so?

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DAY TWO: What makes a newspaper article?

Recap of yesterday (5 minutes):
There are things we know about coyotes, our community and our newspaper,
and things we would like to know.

What does a newspaper story have?
A headline
A lead paragraph
Facts (who what where why how)
Sometimes, a point of view
Sometimes, many points of view
Pictures, graphics or language to capture our attention.
Keep these things in mind as you read.

Advise students that newspapers rely heavily on advertising in order to stay in
business.



Small Group Activity (25 minutes) – Newspaper Article and Handout #2

The teacher arranges students into groups of four.

Each group receives 4 copies of the article and 4 copies of Handout #2. The
students are asked to take turns reading the story a loud. Once the story has
been read, they should spend 10-15 minutes answering the questions on their
handout.

Step One:
What is the headline or title of the story?
Looking at the headline, what do you think the story will be about?
Step Two:
Read the first paragraph. It is called a lead paragraph. A lead paragraph sets
the tone for the article and is designed to “hook” the reader. Does this lead
paragraph capture your attention? Why or why not? Highlight any important
words in the headlines or first paragraph.
Step Three:
Read the article in its entirety. Students should take turns reading chunks or
paragraphs a loud to their group.
Step Four – To be completed as homework, if incomplete
Read the article again, if necessary.
Who are the characters or people involved in the story?
(the two dogs – one is blind, the coyotes, the family(Mrs. Ofield), the vet (Dr.
Brocken), the SPCA (Kristin Williams).

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Where does the story take place?
(Aurora – Yonge and Bloomington)
When did the story take place?
How do you feel after reading the article? Record how you feel or what you think.
Do you think everyone who reads this article will feel the way you do?
Why or why not?
What did you learn? Did you learn anything new? If you did, record it on your
KWL chart.

During this time, the teacher should be moving from group to group, assessing
group work skills, reading fluency, and responses to questions. The teacher
should prompt students with possible questions to think about, as necessary.

Consolidation (10 minutes):
Review Facts in the article
Review feelings about the article
There are no right/wrong answers with respect to your feelings or opinions,
but tomorrow let’s try to find out why you might feel the way you do.

Ask students to complete any unanswered questions as homework.


DAY THREE (LCD or Overhead Projector required)

Day Three Recap Questions

Students do not hand in their homework: they need it for class discussion.
The teacher asks the following questions to the whole class.
Factual Recap – Whole Class (2 minutes)

 The teacher should ask the following questions and have students help record
answers on the blackboard or chart paper.
Who were the characters/people involved?
Where did the story take place?
When?

Critical Thinking Recap – Whole Class (10 minutes)
How did the article make you feel?
What did the article make you think about?
Did you learn anything about coyotes in our community?
What did you learn?
What was the point of view in the article?
Did the point of view make you feel differently about coyotes than you did
before?


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How did your experience affect how you felt? Are you dog owners? Are you
farmers? Are you environmentalists?


The teacher explains to the class that newspaper articles are normally written to
very tight word limits. Because of this, every word counts. Some words allow us
to draw connections or make mental images. What were some of the important
words you highlighted in the first paragraph or headlines? Why did you highlight
those words?

Using the LCD projector or overhead, the teacher should highlight some of the
words that the students thought where important enough to highlight in their first
paragraph or headlines.(eyes peeled, pack, cold-blooded, prowl)

The teacher now tells the students that they will need to highlight important
words in the article in one colour, and important people or points of view in the
article, in another colour.

The teacher models this using the overhead, for the first two paragraphs (fiends
might be yellow, people’s names might be pink)




Group Work: Analyzing Important Parts of Text (10 minutes)

The students return to their groups of four, and the teacher tells them they have
10 minutes to highlight all of the relevant words. To maximize efficiency, suggest
groups decide who will look at the beginning, middle and end of the story. Have
dictionaries on hand if they have to look anything up. Be prepared to share with
the class.

Day Three Consolidation of Text (8 minutes)

Using the LCD or overhead projector, the teacher asks students to help her
highlight the important words, such as adjectives or adverbs, that they found.

(cold-blooded, skulking, fiends)

She then asks them to help her to highlight important people/character/points of
view.
(Mrs. Oldfield, dog Sophie, Dr. Bockneck)
How many points of view can they find?
What does the point of view say?




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Consolidation - Group Discussion (7 minutes):

Now that we’ve looked at the language and points of view,
Do you think this news article accurately portrays what happened to the dog?
Do you think this news article accurately portrays the issue of coyotes in our
community?
Whose point of view do we hear in this story?
How is the view expressed?
Whose point of view is left out?
(the coyote)
Why do you think that point of view is left out?

Be prepared to talk more about the points of view expressed and left out, and
why that might be so, at tomorrow’s lesson.


DAY FOUR : Alternative Points of View, Audience and Production
          Handouts #3 and #4


A computer lab (or library stacks) and additional copies of the newspaper,
including flyers and inserts, is required.


Recap and Instructions: (5 minutes)
Sample Question:
Ask students to think about the first day of the lesson.
We have now learned more about coyotes and coyote attacks.
We might still have some unanswered questions about these issues.
We might have agreed with what we read.
We might have disagreed.
Neither opinion is right or wrong.

Tell the class that each group of 4 (Person A, B, C, D,) needs to split up. Groups
do not move until instructions are given. Each person will receive the same
sheet, Handout #3. Persons A & B complete Part One. Person B completes Part
2. Person C completes part 3.

Groups will have 25 minutes to work in the library:

Persons A and B:
You job will be to think back to what we know about our community.
Did the article tell you much about the neighbourhood where the coyote attacks
are?
How can you use the computer (Google Maps, map of the town, etc.) to find out
the answers to any questions your group might still have.

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Are there any other things you might want to know? Was the coyote just
wandering up the street? Did the coyote seem to live in a forest? How close to
the forest was the house?
Does our community like or dislike coyotes?
The article mentions how the coyote affected one family?
Has our community affected coyotes in any way?
Record your findings on your sheet.

Person C: Think about our newspaper.
Who reads it? Who is the audience?
What other types of stories are in the paper?
Who pays for the paper?
What advertisers are in the paper?
Where might these advertisers be located in our community?
Do you think our advertisers like or dislike coyotes?
Who owns our newspaper?
Use the actual copies of the newspaper to find out more about who owns the
newspaper, and who pays for advertising in it.

Person D: Think about coyotes.

If you were a coyote, what would your opinion be?
Do they attack people or dogs a lot?
Are they dangerous?
Why might we want coyotes around?
Why don’t we want coyotes around?
What should we do about coyotes?
Since coyotes can’t be interviewed for the newspaper, who could represent the
coyote’s point of view?
Why wasn’t that point of view expressed?



Who is the audience of the story/ the newspaper?
Do we pay or purchase this newspaper?
Since the newspaper is delivered free of charge, where does the money come to
pay for it? (advertisers)
Have a look at the flyers that come with the paper each time it is delivered? What
stores do the flyers come from? Are any of these stores new? Where are they
located in our community?




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DAY FOUR CONSOLIDATION AS A CLASS (10 minutes)

Students should have discussed their findings in their group. Now they should
share as a class.
Teacher polls Persons AB, C, and D to see what they found. Students should
make notes in the uncompleted areas of their sheets.
Where is the neighbourhood where the attack took place? Is it new or old?
What used to be there?
Tell us about the audience of the newspaper, as well as who pays for
it/advertisers.
Did you learn anything about coyotes that the newspaper story didn’t answer?
Who could represent the coyotes' point of view?

Does anyone think there was information that was left out of the story?
Why might that be?

Review instructions for Culminating Task/Performance.




Culminating Task/Performance (See Handout #4: To be completed at home
individually as an assignment)

Students are given a choice:

Students are asked to write 2-3 paragraphs in response to the article.

If they feel the article is balanced, they should summarize 2-3 key points of the
article that support their opinion.

If they feel the article is not balanced, they should indicate what point of view is
missing. If they could add 2-3 paragraphs to the story, what would they add to
make it more balanced?

Regardless of the student point of view, was there anything they wanted to learn
in the story, but didn’t learn?

Where could they go to find out that information? What sources would they use?




Roberta Susan Marshal                     Page 13
            Media Literacy Lesson Plan Sheet #1 - KWL


Name: __________________________         Date: _____________________




               What I Know   What I want     What I       Do I agree
               already....   to know....     learned      with what I
                                                          learned?




  Coyotes




  Coyotes in
  our
  community




  Our
  community
  newspaper




Roberta Susan Marshal              Page 14
             Media Literacy Lesson Plan Sheet #2 - Facts

Name: __________________________                  Date: _____________________



What is the headline/ title of the story?

____________________________________________________________



Who are the characters/main people?

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________


Does the lead (first) paragraph capture your attention? Why or why not?

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

What is the story about?

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Where did it take place?

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________


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________________________________________________________________



Who is involved?
________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________


When did it take place?

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________


How did it happen? Or, how was it resolved?
________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________


Why did it happen?
________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________


How do you feel about the article? Why do you feel the way you do?

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________




Roberta Susan Marshal                 Page 16
                 Media Literacy Lesson Plan Sheet #3
                         Missing Information

Name: __________________________                Date: _____________________

Part One – Location of the Attack

Use the Internet (Google Maps, Google Earth) and try to find out more details
about Yonge and Bloomington streets.

Is this an urban, rural, or semi-rural community?

________________________________________________________________

Are the homes new or old?

________________________________________________________________


In your opinion, is the coyotes’ habitat near the community?

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________


Why do you think the coyotes may be attacking?

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________




Roberta Susan Marshal                   Page 17
                  Media Literacy Lesson Plan Sheet #3
                          Missing Information

Name: __________________________                 Date: _____________________


Part Two: Audience of the Story


Who reads the newspaper? (E.g., adults, children, teenagers, etc.)

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________



Whose point of view is presented in the story?

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Are there facts about coyotes or coyote attacks that are not included in the story?
(Use library resources to help you find out.)

_______________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________

Coyotes can’t be interviewed for the newspaper. Are there any people you could
interview who might represent the coyotes’ point of view?

_______________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________

    ______________________________________________________________
,

Roberta Susan Marshal                   Page 18
                 Media Literacy Lesson Plan Sheet #3
                         Missing Information

Name: __________________________               Date: _____________________




Part Three: Production of the Newspaper


Our local newspaper is delivered to homes free of charge. Advertising is
necessary to keep the newspaper in business. Look at the flyers, inserts and
advertisements in the paper.


List some of the companies that advertise in the paper.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

Where in our community might you find some of these companies? Do you think
some of these companies are new to our community? Which ones?

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________




Roberta Susan Marshal                  Page 19
          Media Literacy Lesson Plan Sheet # 4 - Summary

Name:__________________________                    Date: _____________________



How did you feel after you read the article?

If you believed the article to be a fair and factually correct news story, summarize
the key points in one-two paragraphs below.

If you believed the article left out certain points of view, indicate, in two to three
paragraphs, what you would do to make the article more fair and balanced.

(See the attached Rubric.)

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________



Roberta Susan Marshal                      Page 20

								
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