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Engaging and Fun Media Literacy Lessons for Middle School Students

Use these engaging media literacy lessons with your middle school students to help them improve their media awareness.

Do you use media literacy lessons in your classroom?

Why is media literacy writing important in middle school? Media is all around us in various forms, it plays a significant role in how we get information and entertainment, and it is something that influences and shapes our daily lives. Students need to have the skills necessary to interpret and understand this media so they can not only distinguish fact from fiction but also identify which media forms are useful and which are not. 

Media comes in many different forms: 

  • Television, including news, documentaries, TV shows, and movies.
  • Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, X (Twitter), etc. 
  • Newspapers and magazines, which still remain popular despite the digital shift.
  • Websites and blogs offer an abundance of information and range from news websites to personal blogs.
  • Radio, which provides not only news and music but also includes talk shows and podcasts. 
  • Advertising is all around us, on billboards, in magazines, on TV, and online. 

Not only that, but there are also films and movies, video games, books, and so much more. The power of media has been heightened in this digital age, and as teachers, we need to help our students understand how to navigate the media world effectively and successfully. 

Why should students learn how to write reviews in middle school?

Review writing is just one of many writing skills students should learn in middle school. While all types of writing are very important, learning how to write reviews helps students to: 

  1. Develop their critical thinking skills. 
  2. Improve their writing skills.
  3. Express their opinions effectively and respectfully. 
  4. Prepare for their future careers. 
  5. Build their confidence and self-esteem. 

Working on critical thinking skills in middle school is a skill that is used in many different subject areas such as writing, science and experiments, history and social studies, art and creativity, collaboration and group projects, debates and discussions, and much more. 

When it comes to review writing, students learn how to use those skills for analyzing and evaluating, whether it’s writing a review about a book, movie, or video game, a restaurant or service, an app or software, a product they’ve bought, and more. This is a skill that will continue to be helpful in real-life situations. 

Learning how to write a review also teaches students how to organize their thoughts and write them in a clear and concise manner, as well as teaches them how to express their opinions in a way that is constructive and respectful.

This is a skill that will not only benefit them throughout their education but also carry over into real-world situations.  

Engaging Media Literacy Lessons for Middle School Students

Media literacy lessons are important for middle school students because they equip them with the skills necessary to navigate the vast and often overwhelming digital landscape. But where to start? Here are two lessons that students are sure to find engaging and interesting in their journey toward understanding media literacy. 

Media Literacy Review Writing: 16 Lessons

Use these engaging media literacy lessons with your middle school students to help them improve their media awareness.

Are you looking to help your students learn how to write their own reviews? This Media Literacy Review Writing bundle focuses on sixteen different media types and asks students to react to and review each. 

This resource is designed to help all students actively and thoughtfully interact with the media they encounter every day. It encourages them to think, analyze, and write about different forms of mass communication in their own lives.

What’s great is that this resource makes the assignment fun and engaging! Students get to share their own thoughts and opinions in a direct and helpful way. It’s not about criticizing or attacking any media forms but rather offering insightful and personal reactions to each form and how useful it is to users.

Within this resource, you will find everything you need for a great project.  

It contains: 

  • Implementation Plan: A step-by-step guide for easy integration into your curriculum.
  • Classroom Posters: Eye-catching visuals for an immersive media literacy experience.
  • 16 Graphic Organizers: Tools to help students structure thoughts and analyze media types.
  • 16 Writing Prompts: Engaging prompts for creative and critical review writing.
  • Print and Digital Formats: Accessible as PDF and Google Slides for flexibility.

These lessons are super flexible and fit perfectly into your schedule and classroom needs. You have the freedom to choose how many of them you want to use, whether it’s a few or the whole bunch!

Get this Media Literacy Review Writing bundle on Teachers Pay Teachers USD or Shopify CAD

What teachers say about this resource: 

“This was a great and engaging resource to help my students grasp various media literacy concepts! They enjoyed doing the activities and it kept them interested!” – MiddleGradeMsA

“This was a great unit to use! Students were engaged in the activities as it was something that students easily knew a lot about. The unit and product was extremely well organized!” – Emma A.

Media Literacy Unit – Analyzing Public Service Announcements and Commercials

Use these engaging media literacy lessons with your middle school students to help them improve their media awareness.

Advertisements are everywhere in our modern culture, bombarding us on smartphones, social media, TV shows, billboards, and more. They aim to shape our choices, from shampoo brands to vacation destinations, but how can we help our students recognize and resist these influences, empowering them to make independent decisions?

If you want to help your students understand and analyze commercials and public service announcements, this Analyzing Public Service Announcements and Commercials Media Literacy Unit is here to save the day. Through ten exciting lessons, students will explore the tricks advertisers use, learn about camera techniques, and even create their own PSA. 

This media literacy unit includes:

  • Introduction to Media, Media Literacy, and Critical Thinking
  • Commercials vs. PSAs
  • Commercial and PSA Techniques
  • Modelled Commercial and PSA Analysis
  • PSA Analysis Group Practice
  • PSA Assessment
  • Commercial Analysis Group Practice
  • Commercial Assessment
  • Creating Effective Videos
  • Student-Directed PSA Creation

By exploring these lessons, students develop critical thinking skills, improve their writing abilities, and gain confidence in expressing their opinions respectfully.

You can find this Analyzing Public Service Announcements and Commercials Media Literacy Unit on Teachers Pay Teachers USD or Shopify CAD

What teachers say about this resource: 

“This is an amazing resource! It really has everything you need for a unit on PSAs and commercials! The lessons for each day are super clear and helpful. Love it!” – The Mitten Made Classroom

“My class loved this unit. They were engaged and the whole class guided, to group, and then individual style worked really well for them! The  graphic organizers are well set up and made my planning so much easier!” – Rebecca F.

Media literacy lessons play a crucial role in equipping middle school students with the skills they need to navigate today’s digital landscape effectively. By helping students understand and analyze various forms of media, such as commercials and public service announcements, we empower them to make informed decisions and resist undue influences.

With these engaging resources, we can help students become savvy media consumers who are well-equipped to navigate the media landscape and make informed decisions that shape their lives. Let’s give our middle schoolers the skills they need for success in the digital age!

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