Instructional Activities

Activity Overview

What skills do students need to master in order to be considered media literate? That’s a difficult question to answer and educators have not yet reached consensus on a definition. It is fair to say that whatever the definition is ultimately, it will surely include the ability to recognize disinformation in all its manifestations.

The activities on this website focus on skills that adults and students can hone to become better informed consumers of media. These offerings are not a comprehensive media literacy curriculum. They are specifically designed to help members of the school community deal with one piece of media literacy – the ability to identify misinformation with confidence and accuracy.

Use the links below to readily access each activity.

The Assessing Words and Assessing Numbers Instructional Activities are continually reviewed. If you use one or more of these activities, please complete a Feedback Form for each.

The free materials offered on this site were created for middle school students and educators as supplemental materials for my book entitled The Media-Savvy Middle School Classroom: Strategies for Teaching Against Disinformation, but can be used by anyone who wants to learn these critical media literacy skills.

Assessing Words

  1. Verify Quotations – Who said that?
  2. Expert Opinion – How reliable is it?
  3. Information Echo Chambers – Where do most Americans get their news?
  4. Counterknowledge – What about conspiracy theories?
  5. Before You Share – When is it okay to pass along someone else’s posts?

Assessing Numbers

  1. Unbelievable! – What are the chances?
  2. Mean, Median, and Mode – Those pesky averages
  3. Data Collection – Survey questions
  4. Data Visualizations – Misleading graphs
  5. Probability – What are the odds?

Susan Brooks-Young: